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Ian Ogle murder: Five men to stand trial over east Belfast community worker killing

Another four men and a woman will be prosecuted for alleged offences relating to events surrounding the killing.


Ian Ogle

Ian Ogle

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Ian Ogle

Five men are to stand trial on a charge of murdering Belfast community worker Ian Ogle, a judge ordered today.

Another four men and a woman will also be prosecuted for alleged offences related to events surrounding the killing.

The ten accused appeared before the city's Magistrates Court for a preliminary enquiry into the case against them.

Mr Ogle, 45, was beaten and stabbed to death near his home at Cluan Place, east Belfast in January 2019.

Carried out as part of a long-running feud, the attack was said to have lasted for around 30 seconds.

Previous courts were told police believe Mr Ogle was targeted in response to an altercation earlier the same night.

A number of men arrived at the scene, allegedly launched the fatal assault and then fled.

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Three men were originally charged with the murder. They are 42-year-old Mark Sewell, Jonathan Brown, 36, and 35-year-old Glenn Rainey.

Sewell and Brown are currently living at addresses which cannot be disclosed due to suspected paramilitary death threats, while Rainey is in custody for an unrelated case.

Another two men from Belfast, 38-year-old Robert Spiers and 40-year-old Walter Ervine, have also been accused of murder following a review of the case.

The Public Prosecution Service decided that a further four men and a woman should be charged with associated offences.

Christopher Haire, 52, is accused of assisting offenders.

He allegedly drove Brown to and from an address in the city to retrieve a large bag, knowing that a murder had been committed.

Thomas McCartney, 34, faces charges of assisting offenders and perverting the course of justice by taking possession of and retaining the keys to a Seat Leon car.

Jill Morrison, 39, is accused of perverting the course of justice, assisting offenders and withholding information.

It is alleged that she moved the Seat Leon; placed a sports bag containing training shoes, a hat and sum of cash in the rear of the car; phoned Brown after police officers left her address, and gave the keys to the vehicle to McCartney.

Reece Kirkwood, 24, and Neil Ogle, 43, both face a charge of withholding information in connection with the murder.

None of those defendants' addresses are being published because of the same potential threat issues.

They all appeared remotely from solicitors' offices for the preliminary enquiry except for Rainey, who participated by a prison video-link, and Kirkwood, who entered the dock.

Some members of the victim's family also attended the hearing.

Each of the ten accused confirmed that they understood the allegations against them, but declined to give any evidence or call witnesses at this stage.

Seeking to have them committed for trial, Crown counsel David McDowell QC contended: "There is a case to answer in respect of the charges against each of the defendants."

None of the defence representatives disputed the prosecution submissions.

District Judge Mark McGarrity held: "I'm satisfied on the basis of the papers before me that there is a case to answer."

He then confirmed: "I will return the various defendants for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed."

Bail conditions imposed on the defendants include a prohibition on contact with any co-accused.

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