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Pair snared in sting operation after victim had gone to police

By Lisa Smyth

Published 21/04/2015

The two men were arrested in a police sting after one of their victims handed over thousands of pounds of cash in a car park outside Ballymoney.

The PSNI said the case showed that offenders can be prosecuted if victims come forward with information.

Detective Inspector Tom McClure said: "The victims had nothing to do with drugs and the three defendants had nothing to do with the UVF but the fear created by the calls and the threats was painfully real."

In November 2013 calls were made to the Samaritans claiming a number of men in Ballymoney were under UVF threat for drug dealing.

One was told to hand over £6,000 or his family would be hurt. Calls and texts were made from phones linked to former church warden William Ian Robinson (38).

An initial payment of £500 was made on Christmas Eve 2013. This was followed by a proposed handover of £4,000 at a Cloughmills car park. The victim was told this would "keep the wolves away".

The victim, a Ballymoney businessman, arrived in his car and was met by David Kealey (35) who took the money. But police had been made aware of the plot and arrested Kealey at the scene.

His girlfriend Karina Letters was arrested in a car nearby. Robinson was arrested a short time later in Ballymoney.

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