Dad and son among five in court over 'free-for-all' at Ballymena pub
Five men, including a father and son, have appeared in court charged with grievous bodily harm after what was described as a "free-for-all" in a bar.
First to appear in the dock of Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday were 30-year-old Ryan James Calderwood, Mark Laverty (31) and 38-year-old Wayne Scullion, all jointly charged with causing GBH to Aled Hamilton with intent, affray and possessing a weapon, namely a pool cue, a chair, a pint glass and a baton.
A short time later their alleged victim, 31-year-old Aled Stewart Hamilton, from Larne Road in Ballymena, appeared in the same dock, accused of causing GBH to Calderwood with intent, affray and possessing a weapon, namely a baton.
His father, 56-year-old Alister Hamilton, from Shane Court in Broughshane, was charged with similar offences and an additional count of causing criminal damage to a door.
Police objected to bail amid fears of further offences being committed or the investigation being interfered with.
A detective constable outlined how officers were called to the Ladysmith Arms pub in Ballymena on October 27 after receiving reports of five males fighting, adding while a gun was mentioned, no firearm has been found.
When officers arrived they saw an injured Aled Hamilton sitting outside and while speaking to him his father approached the officers and they claimed they had been assaulted by three males. Alister Hamilton claimed he had been at home when his son called him "saying that he was being attacked" so he went to help him and the pair were then attacked with "brush shafts, chairs and tables".
When Scullion, Calderwood and Laverty were arrested however, there were counter allegations from bar staff it had been the Hamiltons who started the fight. They told police the door had been blocked to stop the father and son getting in but they forced their way inside, one of them allegedly producing a "flick baton" which was used to attack the three men who defended themselves with chair legs, tables and pool cues.
He told the court CCTV footage from the bar captured what was described as a "free-for-all" between the five defendants.
Freeing all five on their own bail of £500, Judge Nigel Broderick barred them from contacting each other or witnesses, from going back to the bar, drinking alcohol and placed a curfew.