Saturday 3 December 2016

'Mad Dog' murder plot accused asked Celtic's Anthony Stokes about guns in pub - claims

Independent.ie and agency

Published 21/05/2015 | 00:15

Celtic and Irish international footballer Anthony Stokes. Photo: Collins Courts
Celtic and Irish international footballer Anthony Stokes. Photo: Collins Courts

A MAN allegedly involved in a plot to murder two senior loyalist terrorists approached Celtic player Anthony Stokes in a pub to ask for his father's help in obtaining weapons, a court has been told.

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Antoin Duffy is one of four men accused of trying to murder the former high profile figures in the Ulster Defence Association's (UDA) and the Ulster Freedom Fighters, Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair and Sam McCrory.

He was caught on a tape secretly recorded by police boasting of his conversation with Stokes, their trial at the High Court in Glasgow was told yesterday.

The incident is alleged to have taken place at Celtic bar, the Brazen Head in Glasgow on September 1, 2013.

The court heard Duffy claimed in the bugged conversation with his girlfriend Stacey McAllister that he had walked up to striker Stokes and asked him to get his father to speak to someone about guns.

However, jurors heard that regulars reacted with fury to the request.

Duffy's home in Glasgow was bugged by police from August to October 2013.

He was also followed and on September 1 2013, returned from drinking at Brazen Head.

In a tape played to the jury of 10 women and five men on his return from the pub, Duffy is heard to say: "I wanted to go and talk to Anthony Stokes and see if his dad could get a message to Donzo about these f***ing weapons.

"I seen Anthony Stokes tonight and ah says listen I need to talk to your dad and then everybody started jumping in going uh blah, blah, blah, know what I mean.

"They're singing songs and all this carry on saying you can't do this. I said leave me alone. Not one of them has ever had to go on an operation where they got shot."

Detective Constable Ross Arnott, who was involved in the surveillance operation, was asked by QC Derek Ogg, defending Mr Duffy: "We heard how Mr Duffy approached Anthony Stokes the Celtic footballer and was angry when there was a big reaction.

"He approached Anthony Stokes to ask if he could speak to his dad to speak to somebody else about guns and everyone seemed to take exception to this," and replied: "Yes."

Mr Ogg then said: "Throughout the tapes we hear Mr Duffy refer to his crazy behaviour and taking Tramadol," and DC Arnott replied: "That's correct."

The court heard that police recorded 1300 hours of covert tapes during the operation codenamed Operation Hairsplitter.

Mr Ogg revealed that initially all the excepts from the tapes given to defence teams excluded any reference to Duffy's addiction to Tramadol.

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes
Celtic striker Anthony Stokes
Anthony Stokes, right, with his father John Stokes

The QC said to DC Arnott: "Originally, the security services did not wish to release to us any recordings with references to Tramadol and my client's addiction to it, why was this," and the police officer replied: "The discussion was made by senior officers that the information originally released was sufficient for disclosure purposes."

The jury heard that in the tapes finally released there were numerous references to Duffy being sick due to Tramodol.

Duffy, also known as Anton, Martin Hughes, 36, Paul  Sands, 31 and John Gorman, 58, deny conspiring to murder Adair and McCrory.

Mr Duffy and Mr Gorman also deny being part of a plan to murder the governor of Barlinnie jail Derek McGill in a car bomb attack.

Craig Convery, 37, Gary Convery, 34, and Gordon Brown, 29, - deny organised crime charges.

The trial before judge Lady Scott continues.

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