Father confronts the trio accused of beating and dumping his son in a bin
Victim tortured during drink and drug-fuelled party that lasted days, court told
Published 06/09/2013 | 01:30
The father of a young man who was beaten, stripped and dumped in a sealed bin confronted those accused of attacking him in court.
Adam Robinson is in a stable condition in hospital after he was set upon at a house party in an attack described as "torture" by a police officer investigating the case.
The 20-year-old was found naked in the bin, the lid of which had been taped shut, by a man walking his dog in the Sentry Hill area of Ballymena, Co Antrim, on Tuesday.
Two men and a woman yesterday appeared at the town's Magistrates Court charged with attempted murder and false imprisonment.
While they sat in the dock, Mr Robinson's father Mervyn confronted them before being led away by security staff. He was prevented from approaching them again later in proceedings during the highly-charged court hearing.
Teri Lau, of Dunclug Park, David Roddy Patterson, of Glendun Drive, both 26, and Paula Wilson (20), of Millfield, appeared together in the dock of the court. A police detective told the court he could connect all three to the charges.
The officer said the accused and Mr Robinson had been at a "drink and drugs-fuelled party" in Dunclug Park lasting several days and that Mr Robinson was set upon in a violent assault in the bathroom of the property and knocked unconscious.
"He remembers being hit by Mr Lau while in the bath," the officer said.
"He said there were two, three or four people in the bathroom."
Mr Robinson sustained lacerations, bruising and suspected damage to his liver.
The officer said the injuries to Mr Robinson appeared to suggest he had been tortured, adding that police and medical staff were unable to ascertain exactly when the injuries had been inflicted.
A walker discovered and freed Mr Robinson from the bin on Tuesday after being alerted to it by his dog. The lid had been firmly taped shut.
The court was told Wilson had been arrested after a witness told police of seeing a young woman in the area where the bin was found on Tuesday.
The officer claimed the description given of the woman matched that of Wilson, but that was challenged by a defence barrister.
A bail application for Patterson, who is unemployed, was refused after Judge Des Perry said he was concerned the defendant could interfere with witnesses. Patterson's defence barrister Sean Doherty described the case against his client as "weak" and said there was a "murky background" to the case.
"At the moment it is a weak case against the defendant Patterson.
"He has an address with this mother and the court has at its disposal a variety of mechanisms to protect the public or prevent interference with the criminal process," said Mr Doherty.
Rejecting the application, Judge Perry said: "The court is powerless ... if someone is intent on interfering with witnesses or the legal process."
Wilson, whose occupation is unknown, was released on £500 bail under strict conditions that include an electronic tag and bans from Ballymena town, using or having a mobile telephone, travelling in a car and consuming alcohol or drugs.
She was ordered to live at an approved address with her uncle in Cullybackey, Co Antrim, with a surety of a further £500.
Defence lawyer Andrew Moriarty said he believed there was insufficient evidence against his client.
Mr Moriarty said: "The evidence connecting her is of an utterly tenuous nature.
"Even with the case that she was in the house, how there is sufficient evidence to ground a charge is somewhat beyond me. There is nothing else from a witness observed placing a person in the bin.
"There is no CCTV or anything. There is no suspected forensic link to this point."
The court heard that Wilson was interviewed twice by police and had replied "no comment" during the second.
Mr Moriarty, who is also representing unemployed Lau, said no application for bail would be submitted on his behalf.
As the defendants were led out of court there was heckling from members of the public and Judge Perry ordered the courtroom to be cleared as a result.
All three are set to appear again before the same court next month.
Another man was released on bail pending further police inquiries.
Adam Robinson is currently recovering in hospital after he was the victim of a horror attack in Ballymena. The 20-year-old was found naked in a wheelie bin having been beaten. The lid of the bin had been firmly taped down. He was found by a dog- walker on Tuesday after the dog began reacting strangely.