Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Gambler 'menaced duo to give him £30k'

A gambling addict allegedly threatened and harassed two men into handing over more than £30,000 before flying to Australia, the High Court has heard.

Michael Smyth is accused of menacing them into parting with cash amid claims of paramilitary associations and threats to kill.

Prosecutors said he turned up at a hotel function to make one demand during an alleged campaign against the pair.

One of the men he is accused of targeting even paid for his flight to Australia in September last year, a judge was told.

Smyth (32), of Whiterock Drive, Ardglass, Co Down, faces charges of fraud by false representation, harassment and causing fear of violence.

Smyth denies the charges and insists the money was only loan agreements which had gone wrong.

The judge agreed to adjourn a defence bail application to allow for further checks to be carried out.

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