EXCLUSIVE: THIS is the top UVF man who cheated death in a supermarket stabbing carried out in revenge for the murder of Bobby Moffett.
Today, the man who tried to knife Shankill Road UVF boss Stockman to death pleaded guilty to trying to kill him.
Stockman, 51, who works for Shorts Bombardier, was stabbed more than 10 times in the middle of Tesco’s fruit and vegetables aisle in Ballygomartin in April last year.
At Belfast Crown Court, David Madine, formerly of Innishargie Gardens in Bangor, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Harry Stockman.
Stockman, who organised UVF decommissioning, had to undergo emergency surgery to repair damage to his kidney, colon and bowel following the incident.
A previous court heard that within a short space of time from the incident, police arrested a bare-chested Madine on Twaddell Avenue as he carried his T-shirt and a blood-stained knife.
During police questioning, the 42-year-old made references to the murder of his friend Bobby Moffett who was gunned down on the Shankill Road in May 2010 by two UVF gunmen.
Madine told detectives: “Something cracked in my head when I saw Stockman.”
The accused had been due to go on trial in two weeks time but instead, will be sentenced by Belfast Crown Court Judge David McFarland just before Christmas.
Remanding Madine into custody, the Belfast Recorder adjourned sentencing until pre-sentence probation reports have been completed.
Madine faces a sentence of up to 1o years but his early plea, which has saved court time, will go in his favour.
Harry Stockman is leader of the UVF’s 1st Battalion on the Shankill Road and one of the most senior figures in the organisation.
He was arrested over the murder of former Red Hand Commando prisoner Bobby Moffett but released without charge.
His murder at the hands of the UVF provoked a wave of revulsion on the Shankill where he was known as ‘Big Bobby’.
Moffett, who was just about to become a grandfather, was blasted to death outside West Kirk Presbyterian Church by gunmen armed with sawn-off shotguns.
Up to a dozen UVF suspects have been arrested and questioned about the cold-blooded murder but none have been directly charged with his killing.
Moffett had a run-in with Stockman days before his murder and ordered him to leave his sister Lily and her family alone.
His fate was sealed when he went to Stockman’s home and challenged him to come out and fight him.
When Stockman refused, Moffett then attack the UVF chief’s car parked at the house.
Police chiefs later said the murder was carried out on the orders of the UVF leadership but no sanctions were brought against the paramilitary group.
His murder led PUP leader Dawn Purvis to resign, throwing the party into temporary turmoil.