‘Real UFF’ bomber is former DUP candidate
‘Real UFF’ bomber is former DUP candidate


A prominent DUP figure has been jailed for three years for his part in a sectarian pipe-bomb attack on Polish neighbours.

A former election candidate for the DUP John Smyth jnr had pleaded guilty to the October 2011 attack, claimed by the so-called ‘South East Antrim Real UFF’.

The judge said the attack had been motivated by “naked sectarianism” because the targets were Catholic.

The Ballymena man finally admitted his part in making the pipe bomb when he was confronted with “overwhelming forensic evidence”.

Antrim Crown Court heard Smyth’s finger-print had been found on a public phone used to make a claim of responsibility by the same group for hoax bomb alerts earlier in the year.

“The defendant was aware that the purpose of making this device in his home was to facilitate an attack on a Polish national,” the judge said.

“He was hostile to such people because of the victims’ membership or perceived membership of a religious group - ie, Roman Catholicism.”

When questioned by policed about his activities, Smyth replied: “I annoy the Poles.”

In March 2011 a pipe bomb exploded in Smyth’s home and he claimed to have been the victim of an attack by people opposed to his anti-drug stance and the fact he was standing for the DUP in the Antrim Borough Council election.

Later Smyth told a psychologist he believed he had been “targeted by local loyalist paramilitaries”.

He hit the headlines in March 2011 when he claimed he had been targeted by people opposed to his anti-drug stance and the fact he was standing for the DUP.

DUP leader Peter Robinson and assembly member Trevor Clarke were both pictured at Smyth’s home offering support after a pipe bomb exploded in the living room of his flat weeks before he ran for election to Antrim Borough Council.

Mr Robinson condemned those responsible for the “outrageous attack on John”.

“I know he will not be deterred from standing up for his community by the thugs responsible for this outrage,” he said at the time.

However, it was later reported that the explosion was “an own goal” and that Smyth himself was responsible for planting the device.

Between that incident and the targeting of the Polish couple there was also a pipe-bomb ‘attack’ on the home of Smyth’s parents.

Smyth’s loyalist group has been linked to 28 pipe bombings, gun attacks, threats and bomb hoaxes in the Antrim area over three-and-a-half years.

He received a three year jail sentence, with a further five years on licence.

The conviction is the latest in a series for former DUP politicians in recent years.

Last year, former Ballymena councillor and Irish rugby international Davy Tweed was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment after being convicted of indecent assault and gross indecency against two young girls.

And former Portglenone councillor William Wilkinson was given a seven-year sentence for rape and attempted rape in 2010. Both he and Tweed were at one time colleagues in the small, short-lived United Unionist Coalition Party.

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