A SCOT who was acquitted of terror charges after claiming a balaclava in his possession was for a fancy dress party has been targeted in a gun attack in Belfast.

The home of Neil Findlay, who fled Scotland several years ago citing intimidation from former Loyalist associates, was shot at earlier this week in the latest in a spate of attacks in north Belfast.

A shotgun was fired through the front door of Mr Findlay's house on the Westland estate.

No-one was injured and police are not treating the attack as sectarian.

In 2004 Mr Findlay, originally from Irvine, was part of a high-profile court case involving members of a flute band alleged to have links to the UDA who were arrested as part of an undercover operation by police in Ayr.

The prosecution alleged the men were storing fireworks, incendiary devices and a shotgun and ammunition at addresses in the area. When police raided the houses they also discovered a large quantity of UDA propaganda, suggesting there was an "active unit" of the group in Ayrshire.

However, Mr Findlay was acquitted of having links to the UDA after claiming a balaclava was for a fancy dress party he was planning to attend dressed as Osama Bin Laden's fictional Scottish cousin "Osama Billy Laden".

DUP councillor Lydia Patterson said she was "appalled" at the latest attack. She said: "Whatever dispute lay behind this reckless attack this is entirely the wrong way to deal with such matters. Thankfully no-one was injured."

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said it was a "cowardly attack". He added: "There can be no place in our society for armed gangs."