A bid to gag the Sunday World's reporting on UVF man Colin 'Meerkat' Fulton has failed
Colin ‘Meerkat’ Fulton has failed to gag the Sunday World from reporting on his UVF membership.
High Court judge Mr Justice Gillen ruled on Thursday that death threats directed at Fulton, who this newspaper has repeatedly linked to the UVF, were due to his own association with paramilitaries, and not as a result of Sunday World reportage.
Judge Gillen said: “His (Mr Fulton's) continued association with alleged notorious UVF members and his consequent public exposure, notwithstanding the early threats to his life, suggests that he may be drawn inexorably to activity which generates the threat to his life which he most fears.”
The court heard that Fulton, who argued that he is not a member of the UVF, flew a UVF flag from the front of his south Belfast house.
Fulton, who claimed he had never been arrested, was found to be lying on the matter, with Justice Gillen stating that he had "some difficulties with the boundaries between fact and fiction.”
Northern Editor of the Sunday World, Jim McDowell said: "The message needs to be sent out; criminals and their associates cannot hide behind the law.
"By dismissing another attempt at gagging the media, the courts have underlined the absolute public interest in uncovering and reporting on the criminal activity which is all too familiar in many parts of Northern Ireland."
Mr McDowell also said that the Sunday World would be seeking an urgent meeting with the Justice Minister David Ford on the issue of granting legal aid for the purpose of press injunctions.