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Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 16:03 GMT
Braggart caught by his own tongue
By John Campbell
BBC Newsline

William Fulton
William James Fulton fled to Plymouth

When Portadown terror chief Jim Fulton fled to Plymouth to escape police attention in Northern Ireland he must have thought his ship had come in.

A leading light in the Loyalist Volunteer Force splinter group, he quickly made friends with a group of dodgy characters, who implied they were heavily involved in organised crime.

They took him on as a driver, paying him a weekly wage of 455.

As he grew to trust them he began to boast about his involvement in terrorism in Northern Ireland.

Unknown to him his new friends were undercover police officers and were recording his every word.

The Devon and Cornwall officers recorded tens of thousands of hours of their conversations with Fulton.

The transcripts of those tapes give an insight into a world of extreme violence, and occasional black farce.

Elizabeth O'Neill
Elizabeth O'Neill died in an explosion at her home in 1999.

In one of the most chilling moments he laughs about the murder of Elizabeth O'Neill after describing how she picked up the pipe bomb which killed her.

In another tape he describes how a man he was shooting looked as though he was breakdancing.

He paints a picture of the aftermath of LVF shootings: men sitting around in only their underwear, having burnt their clothes, with some smoking cigars as they listen to the radio to find out if their victim has died.

Fulton also told how he involved his wife in his crimes.

He got her to rev a motorcycle to disguise the noise of a pistol he was test firing.

On another occasion he had her transport guns in a baby buggy.

He even subjected three men to a punishment shooting in the playground of his children's primary school.

Woman walking pram
Fulton got his wife to move guns in a pram

The farcial moments Fulton described to the undercover police officers included an attempted robbery of a bank manager.

He had sent a gang to the manager's house, but when the man fought back Fulton's gang panicked.

They accidentally locked themselves in the house and after managing to smash their way out discovered they had lost the keys to the getaway car.

When Fulton was arrested and confronted with the evidence he claimed he was merely a "two-bit hood" and a barfly, who had invented his terrorist role to impress his friends.

But the recording of his boasting was enough to convince a judge otherwise.


SEE ALSO
Leading LVF man jailed for murder
26 Jan 07 |  Northern Ireland



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