Belfast Telegraph

'UDA will not intimidate me'
Alan McCullough was murdered by the UDA

By Jonathan McCambridge and Judi Madden
21 January 2005

A former church deaconess today vowed she would not be intimidated by the UDA who she claims has threatened to kill her.

Ruth Petticrew, who runs a Christian ministry in the Shankill, said she was being targeted because she has given pastoral care to the family of UDA murder victim Alan McCullough.

McCullough, a former Johnny Adair ally, was shot and dumped on a remote hillside in retaliation for the murder of UDA boss John 'Grug' Gregg in June 2003.

The campaign against Ms Petticrew reached its height this week when a petrol bomb was thrown through the window of her car parked in her east Belfast home.

She also claimed that figures in the north Belfast UDA had verbally made a death threat against her.

She said: "I have been working in the Shankill for 14 years, then I was the deaconess in Townsend Presbyterian Church.

"It was through this that I got to know the family of Alan McCullough; he was in the Sunday School here when he was just a little lad."

Ms Petticrew said her involvement with the McCullough family stepped up after Alan was murdered. She said it was at the same time that the UDA started a campaign of intimidation against her.

However, the campaign took a more sinister turn last November when she said personal threats were delivered against here.

"I was intimidated and death threats were made verbally by elements of the UDA. Three things were said, that my car was going to be destroyed, my property damaged and my life would be taken.

"These guys mean business. They crossed boundaries to come into east Belfast and do this.

"I will not be intimidated by these men. I have worked in this community for 14 years and I will not be put off by these tactics."

A police spokeswoman said they were appealing for information about a petrol bomb attack on a car at Tweskard Lodge in east Belfast on Monday at 1am.

The Secretary of State moved recently to officially recognise the UDA ceasefire.

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