Difficulties: Ian Paisley jnr says he could face financial ruin

The DUP's Ian Paisley jnr says he has been forced to put his home on the market to pay hefty legal bills arising from his refusal to name a source who gave him information on the murder of loyalist Billy Wright.

Belfast High Court will tomorrow consider whether Paisley jnr is in contempt of an order demanding he reveal his source's name. He said the case had already cost him tens of thousands of pounds.

"Contrary to some public perceptions, I am not a millionaire son sitting on a family fortune. I have nothing more than my political salary," he writes in today's Sunday Tribune.

"I have had to put my house on the Co Antrim coast up for sale. It's a lovely house, with fine views of Rathlin Island. After the hustle and bustle of political life at Stormont, it is my retreat."

Although the source had approached him as a public representative, Paisley jnr said that financing the court battle had been left to him personally.

"I have to fund my own legal costs - they are not being met by the DUP or the Stormont Executive. I would have liked to have appealed the original court's decision and taken this case all the way to the House of Lords, but I couldn't afford it."

Billy Wright was shot dead by the INLA in the Maze prison. An inquiry was established into his murder amidst allegations of state collusion.

Two years ago, a prison officer gave Paisley jnr details of a file destruction policy by the prison authorities on documents relating to Wright.

Paisley jnr says he isn't worried that he could be imprisoned for contempt of court: "Jail is nothing new for a Paisley, nor is it something that frightens us.

"Dad served two six-month terms in Crumlin Road prison in 1966 and 1969. He did his time without complaint and, if it comes to that, I'll do mine in the same manner."

He says imprisonment would likely enhance his career, as it had his father's, and he believes the Wright inquiry will instead seek to have him punished financially by proposing that his Assembly salary be cut.

"While I could be jailed tomorrow, it appears the Wright inquiry now recognises I have possibly more to gain from such a punishment than it does. I think that it's accepted that jail certainly didn't do my father's political career any harm, nor would it do my own.

"So the inquiry is asking the court to take away part, or all, of my Assembly salary. It sees hitting my wallet as the best way of punishing me."

He continues: "If I am fined a huge amount, I face financial ruin. I have a young family – four children ranging from four to 14 years old. My family life has suffered enormously already. My eldest daughter told her mother that whilst she believes her dad is doing the right thing, it will be very embarrassing if he ends up in jail for doing his job.

"My wife Fiona fully backs my actions. I couldn't have fought this battle without her rock-solid support. But this case has caused her extreme anxiety."