Three facing trial over loyalist murder charges

John Boreland was murdered in north Belfast in August last year
John Boreland was murdered in north Belfast in August last year

The non-jury Diplock trial of three men facing charges arising out of the murder last August of one-time loyalist paramilitary boss John ‘Bonzer’ Boreland has been fixed for November 27.

Darren George Thomas John McAllister, 34, Thomas O’Hara, 30, and 62-year-old Thomas Boyd Pearson, have denied doing an act to pervert public justice by destroying a Renault Megane car, said to have been used in the shooting.

In addition Pearson denied a second separate charge of allegedly supplying a silver-coloured Renault Megane knowing or suspecting it may be used in an act of terrorism.

Prosecution counsel Sam Magee told Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland that preparation for the case was “in an advanced state of readiness” and that it was anticipated that the trial itself would not “last any more than a week”.

McAllister, from Carrs Glen in Belfast, and Pearson of Rathglynn, Antrim, were both released on continuing bail, while O’Hara, with an address in Brownhill Drive in Kilburney, Scotland, was remanded back into custody.

Earlier this year the High Court was told that the 47-year-old former footballer and north Belfast UDA boss was shot twice on August 7 last year in Sunningdale Gardens as he walked to his flat moments after leaving a local bar.

It was claimed that Mr Boreland was initially brought to his knees after being shot in the chest before being shot again through the top of his skull.

The car used by the gunmen, reported to be a Renault Megane, was purchased about five months before the shooting, and allegedly set on fire two days after the murder.