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Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2006, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Nine years for loyalist blackmail
Laganside Court complex entrance
Two loyalists who admitted trying to blackmail an undercover policeman have been jailed for a total of nine years.

Belfast man Brian Gould, 38, of Vernon Street, was jailed for six years and Thomas Meehan, 37, of Pine Way in the city, was jailed for three years.

The judge said "more sinister figures" in the case were not before court, but extortion could not be tolerated.

The trial heard they went to a builder in Belfast and asked for 2,000 for a loyalist prisoners' fund.

An undercover policeman then took his place on phone calls, covertly recording conversations with the defendants.

At the start of the trial at Belfast Crown Court last month, Gould pleaded guilty to blackmailing undercover cop 'Andy' on dates between 22 February and 23 March last year.

After two days of evidence, Meehan pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the blackmail plot.

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