August 2023

Ex-Loyalist terror chief exposed as paedophile 

A former Loyalist terror chief has been snared sending sexual messages to online profiles he believed were children.

Ex-UDA commander Gary ‘Smickers’ Smith thought he had met a boy as young as 12 online and started grooming him with obscene photos and suggestions but they were run by undercover police

Smith, 59, was given three years supervision and placed on the Sex Offenders Register after admitting two charges under the Sexual Offences Act.

He committed the acts at his former home in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, on various occasions between September and October 2021, the town’s sheriff court heard.

Smith was arrested and had his electronic devices seized after officers hunting online paedophiles raided his house.

Sheriff Alistair Watson told Smith: “I had considered sending you to prison for the indictment matters but will step back as the public protection would be better served with you monitored in the community”.

He is banned from having internet-enabled devices without a browsing history, using aliases or file-shredding software, sharing passwords and must have no contact with anyone under age 16 unless unavoidable.

Smith, now of Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire, also admitted a separate charge of breaching bail conditions banning him from contacting or attempting to contact his partner.

Sentence was deferred until November.

Smith was a member of ex-UDA terror chief Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair’s C Company, which was linked to 20 sectarian murders.

In 1995, Smith was jailed for 16 years for conspiracy to murder and firearms possession but was freed after four years as part of the Good Friday peace agreement. He was later jailed twice for terrorist offences.