Northern Ireland

Alleged former UVF leader Mark Haddock drops Sunday World case

Mark Haddock
Mark Haddock is currently in prison for stabbing a friend

An alleged former UVF leader and police informer has abandoned legal efforts to stop his whereabouts being revealed.

Mark Haddock, 45, had secured a High Court order banning the press from reporting his address in England.

But as he is now behind bars for a knife attack on a friend, his lawyers confirmed on Friday that the injunction was no longer required.

Earlier this year Haddock was jailed for 12 years at Woolwich Crown Court for wounding with intent.

He stabbed Terry Fairfield outside a pub in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire in January.

The victim needed 27 external and three internal stitches after being slashed to the side of the head.

Both men are from north Belfast, but had been living in England under new identities.

Haddock will have to serve at least eight years in jail and another four on licence.

He is alleged to have once led a UVF unit operating out of the Mount Vernon estate in north Belfast.

In 2007, former Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan's report into that gang's campaign of murder found evidence that members were working as special branch agents.

She also concluded that police had colluded with loyalists to protect them from arrest and prosecution.

In 2012, Haddock was among a dozen men acquitted at a major supergrass trial in Belfast of all charges linked to the paramilitary feud killing of rival UDA boss Tommy English 12 years earlier and other terror-related offences.

It was while he was out on bail facing those charges that he took legal steps against the Sunday World newspaper to stop his whereabouts being published.

But in the High Court on Friday, his barrister Mark Farrell said: "The injunction and action are no longer sustainable in law due to a change in the plaintiff's circumstances."

Although the newspaper was not represented during the brief hearing Mr Justice Deeny was told it was aware of the move to end proceedings.

The judge then confirmed: "I will strike out the action and vacate the order of August 27, 2011."