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West Belfast shooting victim named as Jock Davison murder suspect

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Scott McHugh Shooting scene
Scott McHugh Shooting scene
Scott McHugh Shooting scene
Scott McHugh Shooting scene

The man shot in West Belfast this morning has been named as Jock Davison murder suspect Scott McHugh.

Scott McHugh was shot in the upper body and lower body this morning in the Distillery Court area of West Belfast and is currently being treated in hospital where his condition is being described as seriously ill, however the police say they believe he will "pull through". 

After the murder of Davison almost exactly a year ago, Belfast man McHugh told the Sunday World "I didn't do it".

He blamed a whispering campaign for the accusations, and said that he had to leave his home as a result a hate campaign.

He told the Sunday World: "In no way shape or form was I involved in Jock Davison's murder. The finger of suspicion is still being pointed at me, but I didn't do it. The police know it, but I'm still being hassled."

McHugh, who lived near Gerard 'Jock' Davison, one time head of the IRA's Direct Action Against Drugs, hit back at accusations that he shouted something about Davison in the street just after Davison was gunned down.

Jock Davison: Murdered a year ago yesterday 

 He said: "There's a rumour going about that I shouted something in the street moments after Jock Davison was killed, but I didn't. I never opened my mouth. I'm being blamed over a rumour."

 After the murder, McHugh was held by cops for 30 hours after a court application by police before being released unconditionally.

He added that he had "nothing but sympathy" for the Davison family.

McHugh said: "I have been blamed for this - and I now beleive I'm being used as a scapegoat for others. I've had numerous threats from mainstream, but mostly dissident republicans.

“And I believe some of Mr Davison’s friends in the Markets area are trying to get dissidents to do their dirty work as far as this is concerned. They aim to harm me and maybe harm my family also.

“A myth is going around keeping the finger of suspicion pointed at me. People are saying I shouted out something in the street minutes after Jock Davison was shot.

“I’m stating clearly now, I never shouted anything, not a word!” 

After Davison's murder, locals with PIRA links pointed the finger at leading republican Kevin McGuigan for the hit.

McGuigan was later shot dead outside his home on August 13 last year.

The officer leading the investigation into this morning's shooting, Detective Inspector Chris Wilson, said: “The victim is undergoing surgery and we believe he will pull through.

“Although we are following a number of lines of enquiry in this investigation, we are keeping an open mind as to a motive. We will be in a better position to be clear about what happened and why if people who have information come forward to police and provide us with details which we can turn into evidence.

“We believe two people approached a house at 11 Distillery Court this morning at 9.45 and the 28 year old victim was shot a number of times inside the property. The attackers then made off on foot towards the Grosvenor Road. The victim was able to raise the alarm with neighbours and an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.

“We have a report of a man aged in his mid30s running along Distillery Street onto the Grosvenor Road and into Leeson Street shortly after the shooting. He was well groomed with a ginger beard and was wearing a blue tracksuit with the hood up, a hat and leather gloves.

“I am appealing to anyone who saw this man this morning to contact us. I am also appealing to anyone who saw two people in and around Distillery Court between 9.30-10am this morning or perhaps saw individuals get into a car on the Grosvenor Road to contact police.

“I would ask anyone with information to speak to detectives at Musgrave police station on the non emergency telephone 101. Alternatively, callers who do not wish to provide their details can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”