Belfast Telegraph

Remanded for his own safety: schoolboy on murder bid charge

By Deborah McAleese

A schoolboy suspected of shooting a man in a potentially murderous attack has been remanded in custody for his own protection amid police concern that a violent feud within the Travelling community could escalate.

There was a heavy police presence outside Lisburn courthouse yesterday as the 14-year-old appeared before the city's Magistrates Court charged with attempted murder following a gun attack on a man in the Lagmore area of west Belfast on Monday.

The 34-year-old was shot in the ankle when four men burst into his caravan at Hazel View.

Police told the court they believe the person who fired a shot during the attack, and who was wearing a balaclava, was the 14-year-old boy.

His solicitor told the court, however, the description of the gunman did not fit that of the boy.

Thomas Dundon (49), from the Hazelbank area, was also charged with attempted murder and remanded in custody. Both of the accused have been further charged with criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon.

During searches on Tuesday conducted by officers investigating the shooting, six guns, a number of bullets, machetes and blades were discovered.

A PSNI officer told the court that police believe there may be other weapons in circulation and that "there is a real chance this feud will escalate".

Objecting to the teenager being released on bail, she said she was concerned he could be "encouraged to join the escalating feud" or could get "caught up in crossfire if further incidents occur".

Two more men, aged 20 and 21, were later arrested in connection with the attack. A PSNI spokeswoman said the men handed themselves into police for questioning.

Background

A man was shot in the ankle when four men burst into his caravan in the Lagmore area on the outskirts of west Belfast on Monday. Six guns and other weapons have been recovered. A court was told the shooting was part of a violent feud among the travelling community. A 14-year-old boy and a 49-year-old man have been charged with attempted murder.

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