Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 17:30 UK

UDA gang 'planned Blaze of Glory'


UDA figures were planning to announce they would never disband while strutting to Jon Bon Jovi's song Blaze of Glory, a court has heard.

The allegation was made at the trial of the last of six men arrested when police stormed a north Belfast bar.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Samuel Todd Robinson, 39, of Arosa Crescent, and the others were attending a dress rehearsal for a UDA show of strength.

Mr Robinson denies UDA membership and helping to organise the meeting.

He was one of six men arrested alongside loyalist Ihab Shoukri in March 2006 at the Alexandra Bar.

Shoukri and four of the other men are currently awaiting sentence, having admitted charges ranging from UDA membership to supporting the organisation.

'Ruthless killing machine'

A prosecution lawyer told the court the speech gave a brief history of the loyalist paramilitary group and how "thousands had flocked" to its ranks, some of whom joined the Ulster Freedom Fighters, which was described as a "well-oiled ruthless killing machine".

Supporters were assured that while the UDA was now taking their "fight into the political arena - it's not the end of the UDA which is here to stay - we will never go away, you know," the lawyer claimed.

The prosecution barrister said that on the "preparatory notes" were arrangements for a number of plaques to be handed out to a number of people for their work and support for the UDA.

He alleged Mr Robinson's fingerprints were found on a shop receipt for plaques.

During interview Mr Robinson admitted he paid more than 350 to the trophy store but claimed it was for only one plaque.

He said Mr Robinson denied having any say on its design nor asking for the UDA crest to be put on it.

The case continues.

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