UVF attack recalls Mount Vernon gang

Unionist paramilitaries carried out an attack on the home of a woman in the Shore Road area of north Belfast at the weekend.

Residents of the area have said members of the UVF were behind the attack which they say is linked to previous paramilitary incidents in the area.

The UVF, which last year claimed to have decommissioned its weapons, has been a major recipient of British grant aid to encourage it to move into peaceful activity.

But on Saturday, a UVF gang smashed windows and kicked in the front door of the property at Shore Crescent, near the Mount Vernon estate on Saturday.

The house is occupied by a wo man and a child whom people in the area say have no connection to loyalist paramilitaries .

However, neighbours said the woman had gone to the aid of a man injured in a UVF beating several weeks ago and this might have been the reason for her home being targeted.

A friend of the woman said she had been left terrified.

The High Court in Belfast heard earlier this month how a UVF gang used sledgehammers, pick-axe handles and a gun to inflict punishment beatings on a series of victim.

Prosecutors disclosed details of seven separate attacks carried out by a UVF gang from Mount Vernon in north Belfast and stretching back over a decade.

One victim surrendered himself by arrangement and was driven to a flat where he was assaulted by an array of weapons laid out on a table, it was claimed.

Another man was tied and abducted from his home, taken to another location, beaten and then dumped in a ditch in Larne, County Antrim.

The information was revealed as one of the men charged with the murder of Tommy English was granted bail.

Bond is accused of murdering English, a senior figure in the rival UDA.

So far eleven men have been charged in connection with the murder, based heavily on supergrass evidence supplied by Newtownabbey brothers David and Robert Stewart, who have already been jailed for their roles.

But a number of other beatings and shootings linked to the Mount Vernon UVF team, which operated in close collusion with the PSNI (and formerly the RUC), are now being examined.

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