Former UDA boss shoots cops after pipe bomb charges dropped against him

Former UDA boss Brian Dean has been cleared of bombing charges and claims he was framed for speaking out against his former paramilitary buddies at the Sunday World.

A former military leader of the infamous Shankill Road B Company said prosecutors abruptly dropped charges related to a homemade bomb left under a car in Brochein in June 2020 during a loyalist feud.

He was charged with intentionally making an explosive device and faced several years in prison if found guilty.

“I was not surprised that the charge was dropped because I knew I had nothing to do with it and the police knew about it too,” the 55-year-old man told us from his hideout across the Irish Sea.

“I’m glad it’s over, not least because I always knew I didn’t do it.

“I have no doubt that this charge was brought against me as a punishment for speaking in Sunday world against UDA.

“They wanted to shut me up for telling the truth about what the UDA has become. I won’t go into it again, I’m careful what I say, but someone wanted me to get out of the way as a punishment for criticizing certain people in the UDA.”

Two years ago, Brian Dean and other loyalists were forced to flee to Scotland and told the Sunday World that the West Belfast UDA was in fact nothing more than a drug dealing criminal gang and urged young people not to join them as they would end up will work as slaves. to that gang.

A criminal with over 50 convictions lives in Scotland after being ‘kicked’ out of Northern Ireland by the UDA and says he doubts he will ever return.

Speaking to Sunday world From his home in Scotland, he recounts how a “bogus” pipe bomb charge ruined his life, kept him in jail for weeks, forced him to leave his home and left him living in a freezing trailer in Scotland all last winter.

“I know that I have a record; I know I did some bad things, but I know I never left that pipe under a car in Broshein.

prison.

“I was in jail for what I did, and I didn’t like it then, so I wasn’t going to go to jail for years for something I definitely didn’t do.

“The accusation was completely bogus, so I was pretty calm about it. I knew it would never catch on.

“However, it cost me my house. I was living in temporary housing when I was arrested, charged and returned to Northern Ireland by the police.

“I spent several weeks in prison, but when I got out and returned to my house, I was told that I had to leave because of the charge of a pipe bomb. I was told that I was no longer welcome there.

“Fortunately, a friend let me live in their stationary motorhome, but these things are not adapted for winter. I spent the winter in a freezing van and lived in it for almost a year in total.

Dean says that although he is angry that he was charged with using the bomb, he is relieved that it was seized and says that he is now happy in Scotland.

“I have changed my life since I came to Scotland,” he says. “I am still a loyalist, I still have concerns for my country and the Protocol, but I have turned my back on everything else.

“If this accusation stuck and I went to jail, I would be dragged into all this business with the UDA again. I feel like when you’re in Northern Ireland it’s easy to drag you back.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been approached here in Scotland but I’m not interested and there’s no pressure like back home.

“I am happy here in Scotland. I have a home and I am settled. It’s a different way of life and I’m really happy.”

Dean, like other UDA exiles such as Sam “Skelly” McCrory, who recently died in Scotland, cannot return home as the UDA still wants him dead.

“It’s sad that I can’t go home,” he says. “There are people that I miss, there are sick family members that I would like to see, but I don’t think I will ever go home now because I don’t want to put my loved ones at risk.

“I lived with this threat for many years, but I would not want to blame it on people close to me if they consoled me.

“I am happy here. The irony of all this is that the UDA boss, “The Rat”, the man who caused me all the grief, has now turned government evidence against his own people.

“The UDA protected him, but now he’s turned against them – I would never have done that.”

A homemade bomb, described by police at the time as a “working device”, was apparently planted under a car on 15 June in the Rokawan Meadow area of ​​Brocheine.

The victim left the house, and after a while a relative called him and said that when he was leaving, a homemade bomb fell from his car.

The PSNI said the bomb could have had “devastating effects” at the time of the incident.

It wasn’t until May 2021 that detectives from the PSNI’s Criminal Investigation Unit, along with the Scottish Police, lashed out at Brian Dean.

During his appearance at Ballymene Magistrates’ Court, the police officer explained that Army tech officers had seized a forensic device that had found Dean’s DNA.

Police told the court that they believed he was “connected to the West Belfast UDA and had to leave Northern Ireland in September 2020 due to a threat”.

His defense lawyer raised the issue that the police had a forensic report that confirmed that Brian Dean’s DNA had been found on the fuse connected to the bomb six months before they arrested him.

His lawyer told the court: “If there was any serious concern for a potential improvised bomber manufacturer, the police were on it for about six months. When I asked about the delay the police said it was due to Covid.

“I just can’t accept it. This man has been at large for a significant period of time since the police received this report. If they had concerns, they should have acted sooner.”

The judge agreed and called the police’s decision not to arrest Dean a “shameless delay”.

Today, Brian Dean says the fact that it took PPS over a year to drop the charge raises more questions.

“They dropped the charges after examining the evidence and decided that there was not enough evidence to initiate a criminal case,” says the loyalist.

“Did they look at the evidence before deciding to charge me? It was the same evidence.

“In my eyes, it was not insufficient evidence, it was a complete lack of evidence – someone pointed a finger at me and they grabbed me from the street.”

Brian Dean has multiple criminal convictions and was most recently convicted in 2020 for having articles and documents related to the UDA.

In Londonderry Crown Court in 2018, he pleaded guilty to robbery and unlawful possession of ammunition following an armed robbery of a storage facility in Mugher.

He was sentenced to three years in prison for robbery, serving half of his license term.

He also received an additional four months of concurrent detention for illegal possession of ammunition.