Car used in John Boreland murder ‘stored' in Sandy Row

John Boreland in the Hedgehog and Bucket on the Oldpark Road pictured within the hour before he was shot dead

A SILVER Renault Megane used by the killers of prominent loyalist John Boreland had been stored in the Sandy Row area of south Belfast in the days leading up to the murder.

The 46-year-old father-of-three was ambushed as he got out of his Mercedes car in Sunningdale Gardens in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast on Sunday, August 7.

Detectives confirmed that Boreland, who had been expelled from the UDA, had been warned he was under threat in the months leading up to his murder.

He had been accused of carrying out attacks on the homes and cars of leading UDA figures in the area.

The last images of Boreland, captured on CCTV in the Hedgehog and Bucket bar in the Oldpark area just hours before he was shot, show the loyalist standing defensively at the hatch of the bar.

Aware he was under threat from rival loyalists in the mainstream UDA, sources say Boreland would only socialise in the north Belfast bar because he was aware of the lay out and felt safe he could see who was coming and going.

With just one public door into the bar, patrons say Boreland would stand each night at the serving hatch where he was pictured just hours before his murder.

From there he had a clear view of the front door and was close to a stairwell into a storage room that had a heavy door where he believed he could run to safety if he was attacked on the premises.

Sources say Boreland's flat was also heavily fortified due to the ingoing tensions with his former UDA associates.

Loyalist sources have told the Irish News that it was for this reason he was targeted when he was most vulnerable, as he stepped out of his black Mercedes as he returned home from the bar.

He was shot twice in the head at close range with a shotgun.

A Renault Megane and black Peugeot were used by the killer gang.

The Irish News understands that in the days prior to the murder the silver Megane was stored in the loyalist Sandy Row area of south Belfast where the UDA gang planned the murder.

Detectives have been checking city centre CCTV cameras to establish the route the car took on Sunday to north Belfast where it is thought it was used as a "scout car" by the killers who were watching Boreland as he left the Oldpark bar at around 9.30pm.

The Megane was discovered partially burned close to Wheelers Road in Lisburn last Tuesday.

There has been a heavy police presence in both north and south Belfast since the murder with fears of retaliatory attacks.

Fewer than 100 close family and friends attended the small funeral of the one time UDA 'brigadier' that took place last Saturday morning, with no paramilitary trappings.

While close associate, former UDA brigadier Andre Shoukri was present along with a handful of loyalists previously expelled from the UDA, the majority of mourners were relatives of Boreland.

Police would not comment on claims that Megane was stored in the UDA strong-hold of Sandy Row but appealed for information.

A spokesman said: "Police have not yet established the whereabouts of the silver Renault Megane between the Sunday night and Tuesday morning.

"We are continuing to appeal for anyone who saw the car, registration GJZ 4870, on the Ballysillan, Wheelers Road, or indeed anywhere in Belfast, to contact detectives at Musgrave on the non-emergency number 101."

One man arrested and a questioned about the murder was released unconditionally.


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