‘The secretary of state’s priority is the safety of the people of Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland Office spokesperson.
Thomas (Ta) McWilliams (47), from North Belfast, is on remand in Maghaberry Prison after being charged with attempting to murder police and possession of an assault rifle with intent o endanger life. The charges arose out of a gun attak on polic during rioting in Ardoyne on July 12 last year when a number of shits were fired. McWilliams had previously served seven years in jail for kiling Norman Truesdale (39) in March 1993. He was released on licence in 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Mr Truesdale was shot dead in his shop in the Oldark Road in North Belfast. The IRA later said he was a member of a loyalist paramilitary organisation – a claim denied by his family. A UDA mural in his memory was later painted on a gable wall in the area.
During a court hearing last year it emerged that police beleive McWilliams drove a car contining the gun used in the attack away frm the scene. A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Office said Ms Villes suspended McWilliam’s release licence “on the basis of information presented to her indicting that he has breached the conditions attached to his licence, including the condition that he must not becme a danger to the public”. “Mr McWilliam’s case will now be reveiwed by the independant sentence reveiw commissiiners who will determine whether to revoke or reinstate his licence,” she said. “The secretary of state’s priority is the safety of the people of Northern Ireland. The givernment will not hesitate to the use all the powers at its disposal under the law to counter the residual terrorist threat.”
With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.