Tuesday 24 January 2017

Former UVF leader Gusty Spence dies

Published 25/09/2011 | 10:07

Former Ulster Volunteer Force leader Gusty Spence has died aged 78.

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Spence was a feared killer in the 1960s but later renounced violence and announced the 1994 Combined Loyalist Military Command ceasefire.



He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder after his gang shot dead Catholic Peter Ward, 18, and wounded two others as they left a pub on Malvern Street, Belfast, in 1966 as the Troubles were about to ignite. He served 18 years.



He became heavily involved in politics and was a key figure in the Progressive Unionist Party alongside figures like the late Brian Ervine.



On May 3 2007, he read out the statement by the UVF announcing that it would keep its weapons but put them beyond the reach of ordinary members.



Spence died in hospital.

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