Sunday Life

UVF's young thugs behind racist beatings

By Stephen Breen
12 September 2004

A feared loyalist terror gang was last night accused of a vicious racist attack on an Ulster teenager.

Senior security sources told Sunday Life that members of the UVF's youth wing - the Young Citizen Volunteers (YCV) - were behind the evil beating of the 15-year-old in Dundonald, on the outskirts of east Belfast, last week.

The mixed-race teenager suffered serious injuries and was treated in the Ulster Hospital, after he was beaten by a gang, as he walked through the Ballybeen estate.

Terrified locals claimed the young thugs have been terrorising the area, and have also blamed them for a spate of robberies, burglaries and car thefts in the area.

They also claimed the tearaways have been given permission by the area's UVF commander to commit their crimes.

The terror chief, who is believed to be a former burglar, only joined the organisation after the 1994 ceasefire.

Local people claim the paramilitary boss rules the area with an "iron hand", and say there have been pleas for the UVF leadership to remove him.

They also claimed that the terror chief has turned a "blind eye" to drug dealing, in the loyalist stronghold.

Said one frightened local: "The attack on the young boy last week was just the tip of the iceberg - it was a despicable act.

"The local UVF commander gave the go-ahead for the attack, because he knows he can get away with anything in the area.

"He has all these young boys running after him and obeying his orders, and everyone is afraid to say anything about his bully-boy tactics.

"The UVF leadership in the Shankill don't know what's going on here because they don't live here. It's about time they sorted this problem, once and for all, before it gets worse."

Last week's attack was also condemned by local MLA Robin Newton, who said he did not know which paramilitary group was responsible.

Added the DUP man: "Responsible people cannot condone this dreadful act.

"To carry out the attack on this youth in such a brutal fashion is to sink to the very depths of depravity.

"I don't know which paramilitary group was responsible for the attack, but only the PSNI can act to implement the law, and no other group has the right to take the law into their own hands."

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