[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 16:07 GMT
Loyalist leader freed from prison
Johnny Adair arrives at his wife's home in Bolton
Convicted loyalist leader Johnny Adair has been released from prison in Northern Ireland and flown by helicopter to Manchester.

Adair, from the Shankill area of Belfast, had been due to be freed from Maghaberry Prison on Thursday.

But a prison service spokesman said he had been given a period of pre-release home leave.

Adair has served two-thirds of a 16-year sentence for directing terrorism by the Ulster Freedom Fighters.

It is understood Adair was met and interviewed by a representative of the Greater Manchester Police when he arrived on Monday.

Adair then rejoined his family who settled in Bolton after fleeing Northern Ireland during a loyalist paramilitary feud two years ago.


Chief Superintendent Dave Lea of Greater Manchester Police warned Adair that criminal behaviour would not be tolerated.

He said his force would act "robustly" to deal with any criminal or anti-social behaviour.

Adair was expelled by the Ulster Defence Association leadership in late 2002.

It is the third time Adair has been released from prison since his conviction in 1995.

He was previously returned to prison for breaching licence conditions in August 2000 after being released from prison under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement a year earlier.

Power struggle

On 15 May, 2002, he was released from prison having reached the 50% point of his sentence.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy ordered Adair to be sent back to prison in January 2003 at the height of a vicious power-struggle between his "C Company" faction and the rest of the UDA.

Days later, John Gregg, a member of the UDA inner council, was shot dead near Belfast docks as he returned from a Glasgow Rangers football match.

Members of Adair's brigade blamed for the killing were later routed and forced to flee their Shankill Road powerbase.

The family's attempts to remain anonymous were disrupted when Adair's teenage son, Jonathan, was sentenced last year for drug offences.




SEE ALSO:
Loyalist outcast loses his swagger
10 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland
Adair refused appeal funding
10 Dec 03 |  Northern Ireland
Adair's wife in home appeal
16 Oct 03 |  Manchester
Loyalists threaten Adair's wife
22 Jul 03 |  Northern Ireland
Drugs shame of Adair's son
19 Mar 04 |  Northern Ireland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific