Trouble flares at murder hearing in Belfast court
There were disturbances in the public gallery at Belfast Crown Court as two men appeared in the dock charged with the double murder of a man and woman found in a flat in the east of the city a year ago.
Even before the two accused appeared, trouble flared between several women, resulting in a punch being thrown and a number of females being removed from the court.
When the pair appeared in the dock, and when 34-year-old Shaun Patrick Joseph Hegarty pleaded not guilty to the murders of Caron Smyth and Finbar McGrillen, there were calls of "lying b*****d" from a man in the public gallery.
The bodies of Ms Smyth (40) and Mr McGrillen (42) were found in a flat at Ravenhill Court on December 13, 2013.
The arraignment of a second man accused of the murder, 33-year-old Ciaran Nugent, was adjourned, while a legal matter is dealt with in the coming weeks.
As Hegarty, formerly of Grainne House in the New Lodge area of Belfast, and Nugent, from the Falls Road in the west of the city, were being led from the dock, two groups of women in the public gallery became embroiled in a verbal altercation.