Up to 35 witnesses are to give evidence in an alleged assault which the prosecution claims was a sectarian hate crime, a judge heard yesterday.
Appearing at Newry Crown Court via video-link from his solicitor's office, Gary Chambers (35) entered not guilty pleas to all charges against him over an attack on well-known contractor Paschal Morgan on July 14 last year.
Chambers, from Sabbath Hill, Ballymartin, is charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent; robbing a wallet that contained £150 and €450; threatening to kill his alleged victim, and attempting to cause criminal damage to gates and doors at the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel.
It was reported at the time that Mr Morgan (48) was attacked as he walked home and was left with serious injuries.
Prosecutor Fiona O'Kane said the case was being treated as a "sectarian hate crime", adding that there are 35 witnesses.
Chambers was freed on bail and the case was adjourned to December 1 when a date for trial is to be fixed.