Man (57) charged with murder of Edward Gibson
A man has been remanded into custody charged with the alleyway murder of a father-of-one in west Belfast.
Malachy Goodman (57) was refused bail amid fears of potential interference with witnesses and the ongoing investigation into the shooting of Edward Gibson.
The 28-year-old victim was shot in the stomach and thigh at Clonfaddan Crescent in the Divis area of the city last Friday. He died in hospital early the next day.
Goodman, of Rockmore Road in Belfast, faces charges of murder, possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life, and having cannabis with intent to supply.
As he appeared in the dock at Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday dressed in a green V-neck jumper, he waved and blew kisses at relatives in the public gallery.
District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told police were strongly opposed to Goodman being released on bail.
A detective sergeant claimed witnesses in the case could be put at risk.
"The suspect knows many of those who have made statements," he said.
"The firearm used remains outstanding and a second suspect remains at large."
And he expressed "serious concerns" for the Article 2 right to life of a witness who he alleged had identified Goodman by name and description.
It was also revealed that the home of another person said to have been involved in the incident had been attacked. "Tensions remain extremely high in the community in relation to his murder," the detective added.
However, it emerged during cross-examination by defence solicitor Fergal MacElhatton that Goodman was not picked out at an identification process.
Mr MacElhatton claimed a description given of the alleged killer did not match his client.
Arguing that three different versions of events were provided to police, the lawyer said: "The main prosecution witness has basically, on the face of it, submitted a statement which is potentially false."
But the detective insisted he had genuine concerns.
"Because of the nature of this investigation we have had to take quite a lot of statements from people who have asked for their identities not to be revealed for fears of reprisals," he said.
Refusing bail, Judge Bagnall accepted police contentions that inquiries or witnesses could be interfered with. Goodman was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on November 28.
He is the second person to be charged in connection with events surrounding the shooting of Mr Gibson. Paul Edward Burns (30), with no fixed address, was charged with threatening to kill Mr Gibson and disorderly behaviour in the Royal Victoria Hospital following the attack.