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'Life-long' Colin Horner friend refused permission to attend funeral over police reprisal fears

By Nevin Farrell

A "life-long friend" of Bangor murder victim Colin Horner has been refused compassionate bail to attend his funeral after police voiced fears of further attacks.

Ian David Price (31), of Talbot Street, Newtownards, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates' Court on Thursday via video link from prison.

He was seeking bail to attend the funeral of Mr Horner (35), who, last Sunday, was shot dead in front of his young son in a Bangor supermarket car park.

Mr Horner was a friend of Geordie Gilmore, a former UDA commander shot dead in a loyalist feud in Carrickfergus in March.

Price's defence barrister Neil Moore said he accepted compassionate bail applications normally involve close family members but he said his client and Mr Horner had been "life-long friends" and he wanted to attend the funeral.

Mr Moore said the funeral is due to be held on Monday.

Mr Moore said for a long period Price had lived in Carrick where he was also friends with Mr Gilmore.

A prosecutor said bail was objected to.

A police officer said they were opposing bail because of the "ongoing situation in Carrickfergus".

Saying Price was "connected with the feud" she added police were concerned "there may be further attacks".

The officer said Price is aware there is a threat against him.

Refusing bail, District Judge Peter King said there was an insufficient "nexus" between Price and Mr Horner and said there are "very serious safety issues" in the case.

Price is currently facing charges of driving whilst disqualified and without insurance in the Woodburn area of Carrickfergus last December.

He is also charged with taking a "conveyance" for his own use without the consent of the owner at Old Glenarm Road, Larne, on December 9.

And he is charged with receiving stolen goods in Ballyclare - clothing, DVDs, CDs, ornaments and electrical equipment - on dates between December 5-9 last year.

His case was adjourned to Laganside court in Belfast on June 7.

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