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Loyalist murder bid bullet ‘still in victim’s leg’

By David Whelan

A BULLET at the centre of an investigation into a failed murder bid by feuding loyalists in Tiger’s Bay is still in the leg of John Boreland, a source close to the former UDA chief has claimed.
Boreland was shot during an alleged ambush by up to ten men in the Carr’s Glen area of Ballysillan as he travelled in a vehicle with former UDA man Andre Shoukri on August 20.
Two days after the attack three men including convicted UDA murderer John Howcroft, were arrested and later charged with attempted murder.
The other two men charged were John Bunting and Darren McCallister.
Last week, a failed High Court bail appeal by Howcroft, who was out on license via the Good Friday Agreement, heard that police lacked concrete evidence to link Howcroft to the unrecovered weapon and that Boreland was shot in the leg with a pellet and not a bullet.
The North Belfast News can reveal that the item in question is still in the leg of the shot Boreland and has never been removed.
“The problem is that the bullet has never been removed and if they want it they’ll have to cut him open and get it out,” the loyalist source said.
“I seen the hole myself but he’s been told that if they take it out he’ll be out of action for a long time and at the minute it’s not doing any damage where it’s lying.”
The source also said that “bitching” between rival factions in Ballysillan and Tiger’s Bay had been calmed following a meeting with UDA chief Jackie McDonald and that any fears over recriminations if the men are released had not been spoken about.
“They’re not worried (Boreland and Shoukri), but the question on everyone’s lips and from both sides is why has Howcroft’s license not been revoked,” added the source.
Howcroft (46) was jailed for almost 26 years for the separate murders of two Catholic men in 1987.
In July 1987 Howcroft shot dead 40-year-old Catholic taxi driver Eddie Campbell after kidnapping him as part of a UFF gang.
Two months later Jim Meighan, from the New Lodge area, was dropping his girlfriend off outside her Ballysillan home when he was shot twice in the head.
At the bail hearing District Judge Henderson rejected the application saying she had concerns over “risk of interference with witnesses”.

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