Belfast Telegraph

Battered body in Armagh flat was found by burglar

By Alan Erwin

The body of a man battered to death in a suspected homophobic attack was discovered by a burglar two days later, the High Court has heard.

Andrew Lorimer was beaten, kicked and attacked with a hammer at his flat in Lurgan, Co Armagh, according to conflicting accounts by three men charged with his murder.

He is believed to have been alive for hours after the drink and drug-fuelled assault, a judge was told.

Details emerged as one of the accused was refused bail.

Christopher Wright (20) of Mount Zion House, Lurgan, has been charged along with two co-accused, aged 18 and 21.

It was claimed that Mr Lorimer invited the three men into his Portlec Place home on February 3.

Police were told a pornographic movie was being shown on the television and that the victim allegedly remarked that one of them had “a nice ass”.

Prosecuting barrister Kate McKay said: “The motivation is thought to be something with homophobic overtones.”

Each of the three accused has given differing accounts of how the fatal injuries were inflicted.

The court heard how a 999 call was made from a phone box, stating: “He's beat to f***, get here now.”

No further details were given and a search of the area found nothing.

Two days later, a burglary at the victim's home resulted in the discovery being made.

“It turns out coincidentally that another man broke into the flat, came across the body and contacted the emergency services,” Mrs McKay disclosed.

Defence counsel Michael Boyd told the court that Wright claims to have tried to stop the others carrying out the assault.

“When he failed to do so he says he left the flat in disgust while the other two were still beating the man,” Mr Boyd said.

It was claimed that Wright was later told to say nothing about the assault.

All three suspects later went to police to give their accounts of what took place.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said the victim had been subjected to “a shockingly violent attack”.

He said: “The deceased was savagely beaten as a result of which he died some hours later.”

Refusing bail due to potential further offending, the judge stated that the community has a right to be protected from “mindless violence”.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph