Belfast Telegraph

Murder part of a loyalist feud, bail application told

By Staff Reporter

The fatal shooting of a man in front of his three-year-old son was part of an ongoing feud among loyalist paramilitaries, a court has heard.

Murder suspect Ryan Graham Smyth (29) was refused bail by a district judge after police warned that if he was released from custody it could "feed into tensions".

Smyth, from Windsor Gardens in Bangor, appeared at Downpatrick Magistrates Court yesterday charged with the murder of 35-year-old Colin Horner on Sunday, May 28. He was also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Mr Horner was shot outside a supermarket in Bangor in front of his son.

Smyth, who was handcuffed in the dock, only spoke to say he understood the charges. Several armed police officers lined the courtroom.

A PSNI detective told the court that police believe Mr Horner's murder was "part of ongoing mounting tensions within South East Antrim UDA". He claimed it was connected to the murder of ex-UDA chief George Gilmore in Carrickfergus in March.

The detective sergeant said he was concerned that if Smyth was released on bail it could feed into tensions and there was a prospect of further offences being committed.

A defence lawyer told the court that Smyth had a limited record of driving offences and there was nothing to suggest he posed a risk to witnesses.

Smyth was remanded in custody to appear before Newtownards Magistrates Court via video link on June 30.

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