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Drug baron Peter ‘Skeets’ Neill upgrades luxury car for the third time in a year

"It's ironic he can't park over the white lines properly given it's different kinds of white lines that have paid for his life of luxury"
Peter 'Skeets' Neill

Peter 'Skeets' Neill

Steven Moore

Drug baron Peter 'Skeets' Neill has been flashing his cash once again after upgrading his luxury car for the third time in a year.

The notorious drug dealer - who's unemployed - has not long returned from a dream holiday to Dubai where, as we reported two months ago, he splashed the cash to drive high-end sports cars including a Ferrari.

Now we can reveal it's not just on holiday the crime lord likes to sit behind the wheel of an expensive car.

And we can reveal neighbours in the Heights area of Coleraine reckon he's going through a mid-life crisis after he was spotted flying round the estate at high speed with a woman half his age in the passenger seat.

In April 2020 we revealed how the 52-year-old, once described as a 'mafia don' in court, was using his top-of-the-range Land Rover to deliver booze to pals unable to leave the house during the first Covid lockdown - though he told us he was actually delivering food parcels for charity.

Last January Skeets traded in the Land Rover for a sporty Audi A7 which came in garish green but he got bored with that after a few months and has already traded that in for newer white A7.

Skeets' green Audi

Skeets' green Audi

Here's his latest car, worth around £30,000, abandoned near his home sticking out over the white lines.

"Skeets is famous for just abandoning his car wherever he likes," said a source in the Heights estate.

"It's ironic he can't park over the white lines properly given it's different kinds of white lines that have paid for his life of luxury.

"Skeets will often drive to the local forecourt and leave his driver's door wide open so he's taking up two car parking spaces before he goes into the shop.

Skeets' latest flash car

Skeets' latest flash car

"He's so cocky, it just winds the hard-working people who live round here, up. He's driving around the estate, revving his engine.

"He's acting like a teenager or someone who's having a midlife crisis."

Skeets was jailed for 20 months in 2013 for his part in smuggling £50,000 worth of drugs from China, and was seen organising republican flags in the Heights area of Coleraine just before the government ordered a lockdown.

He also had charges related to a seizure of £600,000 worth of cocaine and a firearm dropped against him.

Neill, from Hazelbank Road in the town, has more than 180 convictions and we revealed in 2012 how he had his bail conditions altered so he could go on a luxury holiday to Egypt.

He even brazenly posted holiday snaps of his trip online.

In October we revealed how he was rubbing his wealth into people's faces after posting social media pics of himself in Dubai.

He splashed the cash renting top-of-the-range sports cars for himself and his entourage and was pictured (inset below left) wearing a Celtic top standing in front of a bright red Ferrari with the Dubai skyline in the backdrop.

Peter 'Skeets' Neill

Peter 'Skeets' Neill

His arms raised in the air celebrating a night in the fast lane, he recorded it on his phone and sent to pals back home.

The picture and phone footage of Skeets and co speeding through Dubai was taken in the past fortnight and that he paid a whopping €600 for just one car and one day behind the wheel.

He also posted a video of red and yellow Ferraris he rented tagged 'whip for tonight ha ha' before adding 'just cruising ha ha ha'.

He also sent pictures of his plush dinners and of his messing around in a hotel bar with pieces of bread.

"He's just back from Dubai and that was plastered over the papers but he doesn't seem to care, he seems to enjoy the notoriety and so he goes and gets himself a new Audi," said a furious local resident.

"He seems to be untouchable."

Eleven years ago Neill witnessed his community worker friend Kevin McDaid being beaten to death by a loyalist gang who had clashed with republicans from the Heights estate.

Mr McDaid, a 49-year-old father of four, was attacked just yards from his home in May 2009 in what remains one of the most shocking killings of recent years.

Neill had been a major prosecution witness in that trial but was not required to give evidence after a number of suspects pleaded guilty to lesser offences.

In 2017 Skeets was charged with a string of offences connected to an alleged £600,000 cocaine ring but the charges were dropped a year later.

He had also faced 11 charges including three of conspiring to supply cocaine and three charges of being concerned in the supply of the Class A drug.

During a bail hearing for that case, a police officer described Neill as a "principal member" of an organised crime gang.

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