Belfast Telegraph

Duo on bail over feud murder bid on family must stay out of Larne

By Staff Reporter

A judge has refused to allow two Larne men accused of trying to murder a family to return to the town.

A lawyer for Jonathan Colin McCormac (30) and William McCalmont (24), both of Wellington Green in Larne, had argued that their bail conditions could be changed as it was believed the "headline injured party" had left the area.

But at Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday a police officer said the main alleged victim - James Hassin - was still in the Co Antrim port town.

However, the judge agreed a bail variation that will allow a long-standing booking for McCormac to stay overnight for a "Santa-related trip" with his children to a hotel in Co Down.

McCormac, McCalmont and another man, Clayton Hastings (25), of Channel Vista, Glenarm, are all charged with attempting to murder James and Aislinn Hassin and their family. Hastings successfully applied for his night-time curfew to be adjusted to run from 11pm until 6am.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said this would assist him with things like getting petrol, as he has to go to Ballymena instead.

The charges were brought after shots were fired at Mr Hassin's Brustin Brae Road home on September 11.

Mr Hassin was in the house along with his ex-wife and three young children at the time.

A car was set alight outside the property, but no one was injured in the attack.

The incident was linked to a feud in Larne which has seen a number of attacks on individuals, homes and properties this year.

Last week Ballymena Magistrates Court heard there had been speculation Mr Hassin had left Larne, and a bid was then made to get the bail conditions of McCormac and McCalmont, who are currently banned from the town, changed to allow them to return.

District Judge Peter King said the key issue would be whether or not Mr Hassin was still in the town.

A police officer told the court he had spoken to Mr Hassin who was "adamant he is still living in Larne and has no intention of moving out of Larne".

The officer added he had spoken to Mr Hassin by phone, but that other police officers had also seen him "about Larne this week".

The officer said Mr Hassin was not currently living at Brustin Brae Road, but was at an address known to the PSNI.

Mr Thompson told the court that house was up for sale.

Judge King said the information "fatally undermines" the application for McCormac and McCalmont to return to Larne.

Belfast Telegraph

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