Belfast Telegraph

Racist attack: man denied bail

A man accused of beating a migrant worker with a belt and threatening to kidnap and burn his family must remain in custody, a judge has ruled.

The alleged victim, from East Timor, says he was set upon as he walked home after his shift at a poultry factory in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

Two men are suspected of attacking him and trying to enter his home in what was called a racially-motivated crime.

One of them, Justin McDonald (32), from Dunavon Park, Dungannon, faces charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threats to kill, criminal damage to a window and threats to damage property endangering life. He denies the offences.

During an application for bail at the High Court it was claimed that McDonald and another man inflicted head injuries to the victim with their belts as he walked home on June 30.

An attempt was made to put a belt around the complainant's neck before he escaped, according to his account.

Defence barrister Noel Dillon confirmed his client denies hitting the alleged victim with a belt. He disputed the prosecution claims of a racial element and pointed out that forensic tests have not yielded any match with the accused.

He urged the judge to release the accused to live with his sister. But Mr Justice Treacy yesterday refused bail due to fears of possible witness intimidation.

Belfast Telegraph

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