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Man walks free from 'Mad Dog' murder plot trial as charges dropped

John Gorman was one of five on trial accused of conspiring to murder Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair and Sam McCrory.

Court: The pair were sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday.
© Deadline

One of the men accused of a murder plot against Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair has walked free from court after a prosecutor withdrew all charges against him.

John Gorman was on trial at the High Court in Glasgow with Antoin Duffy, 39, Martin Hughes, 36, and Paul Sands, 31, accused of conspiring to murder Mad Dog and Sam McCrory.

The pair were once high profile figures in the loyalist organisation the UDA and its military wing the Ulster Freedom Fighters.

The 58-year-old was also accused, along with Duffy, of being part of a plan to murder the governor of Barlinnie jail Derek McGill in a car bomb attack.

Gorman has been cleared of these charges and terrorism charges. Advocate depute Paul Kearney, prosecuting, told the jury: "I am withdrawing the libel against Mr Gorman."

He also withdrew the charges against Gary Convery, 34, who was accused of organised crime charges.

Judge Lady Scott said: "Mr Gorman and Mr Convery I formally find you not guilty of the charges of which you were accused. You are free to leave the dock."

Mr Gorman was detained and quizzed by police on October 30, 2013, in connection with alleged terrorism offences.

He was asked by police officers about religious beliefs and replied: "One half of my family support Celtic and the other half support Rangers. We have never done nae bigotry in my house."

When he was asked again about his religion Mr Gorman said: "Protestant. My daughter went to a Catholic school and my son to a Protestant school. I just went with what the best school was."

Later in the interview Gorman, who is known by the nickname Piddy, said: "I can't believe I'm in here for terrorism. I don't know where this information is coming from."

The jury also heard Mr Gorman's Irvine home was searched by police for eight hours and no literature connected in any way with the troubles in Ireland was found there.

The trial against Duffy, Hughes and Sands on charges of terrorism and plotting to murder Mr Adair and Mr McCrory continues.

Duffy is also accused of plotting to murder the governor of Barlinnie Derek McGill. They deny all the charges against them.

Outside the court Mr Gorman's solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "All charges against Mr Gorman have now been withdrawn. He wishes to thank me, his solicitor, counsel Edward Targowski QC and Sarah Livingstone for their representation on his behalf.

"After 38 days of trial Mr Gorman stands clear from any criminal charges. However, no further statement can be made at this time due to ongoing proceedings."

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