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Belfast man in court over attack on David Ervine memorial chair

A man has appeared in court in Northern Ireland today accused of an attack on a memorial to the late Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine.

Brian Paul McMullan is charged with criminal damage to a chair erected in east Belfast to pay tribute to the loyalist politician.

The 25-year-old, of Madrid Street in the city, also faces counts of indecent behaviour, cultivating and possessing three cannabis plants.

McMullan allegedly targeted the chair situated at Montrose Street on Remembrance Sunday last year.

The memorial, which belongs to the Inner East Youth Project, was built after the PUP leader died in 2007.

Mr Ervine, a former member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, launched a political career following his release from prison.

He played a key role in brokering the loyalist paramilitary ceasefire in 1994.

McMullan either intentionally or recklessly caused criminal damage to the monument set up in his memory during an incident on November 13, according to the charge sheet.

He is further accused of indecent behaviour at Erskine Street in the city on the same date.

The two alleged drugs offences were committed on November 18.

The accused made no reply when the charges were put to him at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

He was remanded on continuing bail to appear again next month. ends

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