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Scot at the centre of swoop after terror chief's murder; Father of two denies torching car linked to Loyalist kingpin's shooting.

Byline: chris clements c.clements@dailyrecord.co.uk

THIS is the Scot who was arrested in a dramatic swoop over the murder of a Loyalist kingpin in Belfast.

Thomas O'Hara and two others are accused of destroying a car linked to the shooting of terror chief John Boreland in Belfast last month.

As the trio appeared in the dock, high-profile Loyalist boss and Boreland associate Andre Shoukri glared at them from the public gallery.

Boreland - an ex-Ulster Defence Association "brigadier" - was gunned down near his flat in Belfast on August 7. O'Hara, 29, was arrested in a dawn raid at a relative's home in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, on Tuesday.

The Record understand O'Hara lived in a property near Belfast's Shankill Road for a time.

He is accused with the other men of perverting the course of justice in connection with the killing.

O'Hara appeared with co-accused Darren McAllister, 33, and Thomas Pearson, 61, at Belfast Magistrates' Court amid heavy security.

McAllister and Pearson were arrested in the north of the city.

Boreland was shot at Sunningdale Gardens, minutes after he left his local bar. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died at the scene.

O'Hara, McAllister and Pearson are accused of destroying a silver Renault Megane sought by police in connection with the murder.

The men, all dressed in grey jumpers, nodded to confirm they understood the charges and spoke only to give their dates of birth.

A policeman told the court he could connect the trio to the charge. But no further details about the case were disclosed.

Defence lawyers put no questions to the officer and said they were not seeking bail at this stage.

O'Hara's solicitor said: "He's a family man who resides in Scotland with his partner and two children.

"He's keen to get back there as soon as possible."

But district judge Eamonn King ordered the three accused to be remanded in custody.

The trio are due to appear again in court, via video-link, on October 13.

A fourth man, aged 33, who was arrested i n Newtownabbey, near Belfast, on Tuesday was later released pending a review by prosecutors.

It's believed Boreland's murder was part of a turf war between UDA factions in the north and south of the city.

Shoukri was allegedly with Boreland when he survived a previous assassination attempt in 2014.

O'Hara was detained by police at a house in Brownhill Avenue earlier this week.

The Record reported how several police vehicles pulled up at the property at 6.30am. A second house a couple of streets away was also searched.

One Kilbirnie resident said O'Hara had not been living there for long.

He added: "There were three riot vans. I didn't hear a lot of noise but they took away bags and bags of stuff from the house. They were there for hours."

When telephoned by the Record, a female relative of O'Hara's at the house refused to comment.

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DOTING Thomas O'Hara's lawyer claimed he is a family man

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 16, 2016
Words:500
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