NewsCrime Desk

Three remanded in custody in connection with murder of John Boreland

John Boreland
John Boreland

Three men have been remanded in custody charged in connection with the murder of a prominent loyalist paramilitary in Belfast.

Ulster Defence Association member John Boreland, 46, was gunned down in north Belfast last month.

Thomas O'Hara, 29, Darren McAllister, 33, and Thomas Pearson, 61, appeared before a district judge in Belfast charged with perverting the course of justice.

The charges relate to the destruction of a silver Renault Megane car that police believe was connected to the murder.

O'Hara, from Brownhill Drive, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, in Scotland; McAllister, from Carrs Glen Park in Belfast; and Pearson, from Cliftondene Park in Belfast, stood side by side in the dock.

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

High-profile loyalist Andre Shoukri, a close friend of Mr Boreland, was among those watching proceedings from the public gallery amid a tight security presence.

A police detective told Judge Eamon King he could connect the three to the charges.

With no applications for bail made on behalf of the men, the judge remanded them in custody to appear before court again, via video link, on October 13.

Only O'Hara's solicitor made any substantive comment during the brief hearing, telling the judge his client was keen to return home to Scotland.

"He's a family man who resides in Scotland with his partner and two children and he's keen to get back to them," he said.

Boreland was hit a number of times with a shotgun as he walked to his flat in the Sunningdale Gardens area of north Belfast on August 7. He died at the scene.

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