Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Loyalist feud killing: man appears in court

Firearm 'was found in police search'

A NEWTOWNARDS man, arrested by detectives investigating the murder of loyalist feud victim Brian Stewart, appeared in court today on firearm offences.

A NEWTOWNARDS man, arrested by detectives investigating the murder of loyalist feud victim Brian Stewart, appeared in court today on firearm offences.

Justin Horner, (26), of Fairfield Way in Newtownards, was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The court heard the charge related to the discovery of a sawn-off shotgun, an automatic pistol, 17 shotgun cartridges and 35 rounds of .38 bullets in a house in Newtownards on Saturday during police searches of 10 houses in east Belfast and north Down.

Horner was remanded in custody to reappear in court via videolink on June 18.

Security is expected to be tight in Belfast today as Mr Stewart's funeral took place.

The LVF-linked 34-year- old was shot in east Belfast last Monday, in an attack blamed on the UVF.

Tensions between the factions had been building in the weeks before the murder and have intensified since the shooting.

The UVF has been blamed for attacks in east Belfast over the weekend.

A blast bomb exploded in Evelyn Avenue in the Beersbridge Road area on Saturday night.

Another device, which was found nearby, was made safe by Army bomb experts early on Sunday morning.

On Saturday morning two houses were damaged and a 70-year-old man treated for shock after a substantial device was left in the Beersbridge Road area.

Meanwhile, detectives say they are keeping an open mind about a shooting incident in east Belfast last night.

At around 10.30pm two men drove past a vacant house in the Longstone Drive area of Ballybeen and fired a number of shots through the front window.

East Belfast Assembly member Michael Copeland appealed for calm.

"I would appeal for people to draw back," he said.

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