Belfast Telegraph

Exiled Shankill faction still in English bolthole

07 January 2005

A handful of Adair's closest associates remain in Bolton, a bolthole chosen after they were forced from the Shankill by the UDA.

The exiles - dubbed the 'Bolton Wanderers' - include John 'Fat Jackie' Thompson, who was the target of a car bomb attempt outside his home in the Halliwell area of the town last year.

He has since moved to another part of Bolton and has been working as a labourer.

According to a local police source, Thompson was furious that Adair's son brought unwelcome attention to the grouping through drug-dealing and rarely speaks to others from the Shankill faction.

Imprisoned along with Adair Jnr for their part in the "dial-a-drug operation" were fellow exiles William Truesdale and Benjamin Dowie.

Ian Truesdale, one of Adair's best friends, was jailed later for the same offence.

The four had tried to move into the drugs market after the gangland killing of Bolton drugs lord Billy Webb in the late 1990s had left Bolton's heroin trade needing a new boss.

Ian Truesdale's wife Karen has remained at their house in Halliwell with 17-year-old old son David Officer, from an earlier relationship.

He was given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order in September for terrorising shopkeepers with a gang of teenagers.

Adair's wife Gina, aged 38, is understood to be undergoing a course of treatment at a local hospital for ovarian cancer.

She lives in the same house that came under fire from loyalist gunmen in 2003.

Others in Bolton include Shankill loan-sharks Herbie and Sham Millar who are known to be in the town but have melted into relative obscurity.

Another Adair ally, Alan McCullough, disappeared from Bolton in May 2003 after spending several months living at Gina's house, along with Dowie.

McCullough was suspected of helping to set up the shooting at her house, and had returned to the Shankill believing he was safe from reprisals.

He went missing and was found in a shallow grave just outside Belfast.

Another associate, Gary 'Smickers' Smith, lived in Bolton until spring 2004, when he left to join other loyalists in Stranraer.

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