'Ulster hitmen hired by London drug dealers': Court told reward for arranging contracts was cheap cannabis. Terry Kirby reports

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The Independent Online
TWO ULSTER Protestant hitmen were hired by a group of south London drug dealers to execute a police informer and a fellow dealer, an Old Bailey court was told yesterday.

The reward to other Ulstermen for arranging the contract was the promise of access to large quantities of cheap cannabis, which they had been sending by Red Star delivery service to Belfast, Timothy Langdale, QC, for the prosecution, said.

The first target of Terence McCrory and John Green was John Dale, 43, who had a pounds 25,000 contract placed on him; he was followed but never attacked. The second contract was on David Norris, 49, the police informant, who Mr Langdale said had 'many enemies'; he was killed by Mr McCrory and Mr Green.

Mr McCrory, 30, of Belfast; Mr Green, 32, of Falkirk, Scotland; Patrick Doherty, 35, of Brockley, south London and George McMahon, 46, of New Cross, also south London, are charged with conspiring with others to murder Mr Dale. Mr McCrory, Mr Green and Mr Doherty are charged with conspiring with others to murder Norris; Mr Doherty and Mr McMahon are charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis resin. They deny all the charges.

Mr Langdale said during 1990, a number of south London dealers were supplying drugs, mainly cannabis, to Protestant dealers in Northern Ireland. The 'main link' between the groups was Stuart Warne, who used the Red Star parcel delivery service to despatch the drugs.

Early in 1991, Thomas McCreery, leader of the Ulster group, was shot for selling drugs to Catholics and came to live in Kent with Steven Pollock, his 'principal lieutenant', and later Renwick Dennison. Mr Langdale said they began to set up further deals through Warne, who supplied drugs from Mr Doherty and Mr McMahon.

Mr McMahon allegedly asked Warne if the Irishmen could 'do away with' a girlfriend of another man who was 'causing trouble'. The Irishmen said the task could be arranged, but not in this case because a woman was involved. Mr Langdale said that shortly afterwards Mr McMahon told Warne that 'Doherty's boss, somebody called Terry Reeves, wanted someone killed'. He gave Warne a photograph of Mr Dale, who ran a drinking club in Bethnal Green, east London, and a public house.

A few days later Mr McCreery and Mr Pollock agreed to the contract but said they 'would get people over to do it'. Mr Langdale said Mr Green, Mr McCrory and Dennison, made 'considerable efforts' to trace and kill Mr Dale. After they returned to Belfast, Dennison shot Mr Dale in the head, but he survived. A few weeks later, Mr Green and Mr McCrory returned when the contract was placed on Mr Norris. Mr Green and Mr McCrory drove on a motorcycle to Mr Norris' home, where they shot him, the court heard.

After Warne and Dennison were arrested, they confessed and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder and drugs charges and are serving life terms. Both will be prosecution witnesses during the trial, which continues today.

The court heard that Mr McCreery and Mr Pollock are still at large.