Lunn says paramilitary sentence sends a worrying message

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn has said the reduction in the sentence handed to a senior paramilitary leader who turned state witness sends “a worrying message”.

Mr Lunn was speaking after Gary Haggarty had his 35-year jail term reduced to six-and-a-half years after providing ‘supergrass’ evidence on loyalist murders and attempted murders. However, only one man is to be prosecuted on the back of his evidence. The former North Belfast UVF commander had previously admitted the murders of five people, as well as hundreds of other paramilitary offences.

“This man is responsible for a litany of paramilitary offences, including several murders. Many lives have been ruined as a consequence of his activities and loved ones are still living with the consequences of his actions,” said Mr Lunn.

“While his evidence may lead to a prosecution and may have some ongoing value to other investigations, the scale of the reduction in his sentence nevertheless sends a worrying message around the value of life and the pursuit of justice.”

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