A MAN has been found not guilty of the murders of Catholic workmen Eamon Fox and Gary Convie in North Belfast in 1994.

James Stewart Smyth (58) of Forthriver Link in North Belfast was also cleared of one count of attempted murder, possession of a firearm and membership of a proscribed organisation, the UVF.

Mr Convie and Mr Fox were on a building site at North Queen Street in May 1994 when the UVF opened up with a Sten machine-gun, killing them as they ate lunch in a car. Another man sitting in the back of the vehicle escaped injury.

Mr Justice O’Hara told the non-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court that it could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt that Smyth was the gunman.

The trial last year had heard evidence from former UVF man turned loyalist supergrass Gary Haggarty. Mr Haggarty spent three days in the witness box at Laganside Courts being cross-examined about evidence he provided against James Stewart Smyth.

However, Mr Justice O’Hara said Haggarty was an unreliable witness.