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Murder plot accused 'asked Stokes for help to get guns'


Judge's gavel

Judge's gavel

Judge's gavel

A man allegedly involved in a plot to murder two senior loyalists approached Celtic player Anthony Stokes in a pub to ask for his father's help in obtaining weapons, a court has heard.

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 Adair and Sam McCrory.

He was caught on a tape secretly recorded by police talking about his conversation with Stokes, the 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 regulars in the pub reacted with fury to the request.

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

In a tape played to the jury of 10 women and five men, 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 I 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."

The court heard that police recorded 1,300 hours of covert tapes during the operation codenamed Operation Hairsplitter.

Prosecution counsel Derek Ogg revealed that initially all the excerpts from the tapes given to the defence teams excluded any reference to Duffy's addiction to Tramadol.

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) all deny organised crime charges.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent