Belfast Telegraph

Chef on Conan Anderson manslaughter charge under 'credible' threat

By Alan Erwin

A chef accused of killing a man who suffered a head injury on a night out in Belfast is under threat, a court has heard.

Police confirmed a "credible" warning was passed to Laurence Dowie (27) following the alleged attack on football coach Conan Anderson earlier this month.

Details emerged as Dowie appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday charged with the 22-year-old's manslaughter.

A judge banned publication of the defendant's address or any press photographs in a bid to ensure his right to life is protected.

Mr Anderson died nearly two weeks after the incident at Arthur Lane in the city centre early on February 6.

He had managed to make his way back to his Short Strand home, but was later admitted to hospital where he passed away on Saturday. Police investigating the incident subsequently charged Dowie with his unlawful killing.

He was bailed to appear at court today to confirm his release conditions.

Entering the dock dressed in a white shirt and grey tie, Dowie stood head bowed as the allegation was put to him. Relatives were gathered in the public gallery for the hearing.

A prosecution lawyer said the agreed conditions included a prohibition on contacting any witnesses, either directly or through social media.

Dowie is also to abide by a curfew and alcohol ban, and must not go near the alleged crime scene.

Defence solicitor Fergal MacElhatton told the court his client had voluntarily gone to a PSNI station.

No further details of the incident were disclosed.

But seeking a restriction on publication of Dowie's address or photograph, Mr MacElhatton revealed that a threat message was relayed after February 6.

"This is nothing at all to do with the deceased or anybody associated with him," he stressed.

"It came directly to him, it was delivered by police."

District Judge Bagnall pressed an investigating detective for his assessment.

"We consider the threat... to be credible," he confirmed.

Citing the defendant's right to life, Judge Bagnall imposed the restrictions sought. She remanded Dowie on continuing bail to appear again on April 19.

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