Belfast Telegraph

Brief bail for murder bid accused

BY ALAN ERWIN

A man was beaten with spades, hatchets and a wheel brace in what police believe is part of a Traveller feud, the High Court heard.

Witnesses said they feared he was going to be killed by three men who targeted him in Newry, Co Down. A judge was also told of a "severe" campaign of intimidation against the victim's family, including shots being fired at a house.

Details emerged as one of the men accused of trying to kill him was granted compassionate bail.

Thomas Ward (23) of Second Avenue, Newry, faces charges of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

He is alleged to have been involved in the attack in the Carnaget area of the city on June 6.

Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said: "Two of the witnesses who described the attack said that they thought the injured party was going to be killed."

Opposing Ward's bid for temporary release to attend his son's christening tomorrow, Mr Maguire claimed it would give him an opportunity to interfere with witnesses.

But counsel for the defence stressed how all alleged intimidation happened while Ward was in custody.

Granting the application, Mr Justice Deeny ruled that Ward could be released for three hours to attend the church in Ballymena. He ordered him to remain with his mother while out of prison and directed that a £2,500 cash surety must also be lodged.

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