Challenge against UDA blackmail plot conviction rejected


A money collector jailed over a suspected £10,000 UDA blackmail plot has failed in a bid to have his conviction overturned.

Andrew McBride received a seven-year sentence for his part in a gang attempt to extort cash from a businessman who supplied cannabis.

McBride’s lawyers claimed the trial judge got it wrong in deciding he knew what his co-accused were up to.

But the Court of Appeal ruled there had been enough evidence to make the finding against him.

McBride, 32, formerly of Upper Movilla Street in Newtownards, was convicted last year along with three other men from the north Down area.

Police surveillance film and phone-tap evidence formed part of the case against them.

McBride’s alleged involvement centred on collecting envelopes of money from the victim on four separate occasions.

He is now expected to pursue a separate challenge against the seven-year prison term imposed on him.