Police hold man over murder of Belfast loyalist's nephew

 

Police have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the murder of the nephew of a well-known north Belfast loyalist and an opponent of Johnny Adair.

Jonathan Stewart (22), from Joanmount Park in north Belfast was shot dead on Friday morning in a house on Manor Street, also in the north of the city, as he chatted with another man.

He was singled out for the shooting and the man he was with was not injured.

The killing is being linked to the ongoing feud involving various factions within the UDA in Belfast and has been blamed on Adair's notorious lower Shankill "C" Company.

The dead man was not involved in loyalist activity, according to his immediate family.

Tensions within the UDA have simmered since early autumn and the killing of Stephen Warnock, a prominent Loyalist Volunteer Force member, on September 13th.Adair and his spokesman, John White, himself a convicted murder, were expelled from the UDA in October.

Both pro-and-anti-Adair factions have been accused of a spate of bomb attacks and shootings in and around Belfast ever since.

Following the expulsions, UDA members were urged not to have anything to do with Adair and White, but Shankill Road UDA members have remained with Adair.