| 5.3°C Belfast

Gun attacks on Co Tyrone home allegedly linked to €250k drug debt owed to Dublin-based criminals


The man appeared in court in Belfast.

The man appeared in court in Belfast.

PA Archive/PA Images

The man appeared in court in Belfast.

Gun attacks on a Co Tyrone home are allegedly linked to a 250,000 euro drug debt owed to Dublin-based criminals, a court was told.

Police claimed the house in Coalisland was targeted twice amid phone warnings to "cause damage" to a family living there if the money was not paid.

Details emerged as Dublin man Robert Redmond, 32, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with threats to kill on dates between February 1 and July 2, 2019.

Redmond, of Woodview Close in the Donaghmede area, was arrested at a hotel on Tuesday after apparently travelling north for a night out.

A detective said the case is connected to separate gun attacks on the Coalisland property in March and July last year.

In the first incident a number of shots were fired through the windows of the house.

Police believe the attack was carried out because a member of the family living there was under threat from Dublin criminals.

The alleged victim claims he had developed a friendship with Redmond after they met in Lanzarote, the court heard.

But according to the detective their relationship deteriorated when Redmond held him responsible for a 250,000 euro drug debt.

Threats to kill were allegedly made in WhatsApp messages, with one telling the man he had two weeks to pay and signed off "tick tock, tick tock".

It was claimed that another message warned: "I'm going to cause damage to your family."

After shots were fired at the house for a second time the man allegedly received further telephone communication informing him he would be getting "five or six in the face".

Defence solicitor Hamill Clawson insisted Redmond is only charged threats to kill, which are denied.

"He was released unconditionally in relation to the alleged shooting that occurred a year ago at the home address of the complainant," the lawyer said.

Asked why his client was in Northern Ireland this week, Mr Clawson explained: "There's still a lockdown in the south, he came up to Belfast for a night out."

Redmond was refused bail due to concerns he may not comply with any release conditions.

District Judge Mark Hamill remanded him in custody to appear again next month.

Belfast Telegraph