Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Murder suspect in legal challenge over assault

A murder suspect has launched a legal challenge to a decision not to prosecute two men for an earlier assault on him.

Jimmy Seales was “left for dead” after being beaten and having his throat cut, the High Court heard.

The attack was carried out in September 2011, four months before Philip Strickland (36) was shot in the head and leg near Comber, Co Down, on January 11.

Seales, a 55-year-old farmer from Ballykeel Road, Hillsborough, is currently remanded in custody charged with that murder.

He is now seeking to judicially review the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for deciding not to bring grievous bodily harm charges against two men he claims inflicted serious injuries on him.

The judge raised issues over separate claims by Seales that he was shot at before the beating.

A gun found buried on Seales' land is forensically linked to bullets recovered from the headrest of his Landrover, the court heard.

Mr O'Brien argued that if his client had made up the shooting claims then he would be facing a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Mr Justice Horner directed that the PPS should submit a letter setting out its reasons before he decides whether to grant leave to seek a judicial review. The case was adjourned for two weeks.

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