Belfast Telegraph

Former Irish league footballer kidnapped and demanded £10k from man he claimed was pimp, court told

By Alan Erwin

A former leading loyalist allegedly kidnapped and demanded a "fine" of up to £10,000 from a man he claimed was a pimp, a court heard today.

Darren Moore, 49, is also accused of ransacking the complainant's home, stealing a wedding ring and designer watch.

Moore, of Ballynure Road in Ballyclare, Co Antrim, was arrested after police were called to the scene earlier this week.

The ex-Irish league footballer appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with kidnapping, blackmail, burglary and driving while disqualified.

Prosecutors said Moore and an unidentified associate turned up at the alleged victim's Co Antrim home on Tuesday.

The man claimed they asked if he had visited an escort at a house on Belfast's Crumlin Road the previous week.

He was also questioned about whether he was a pimp and if he ran a brothel, according to the Crown case.

The court heard Moore allegedly told the man he was going to be fined £10,000 because the escort's brother was "high up".

But it was alleged that if he got the money that day he would only have to pay £5,000.

Moore and the other man were said to have driven him to an ATM machine where he withdrew £90 before being brought back to his home.

Prosecution counsel claimed they then ransacked the property, taking jewellery from a safe, and telling him to ask friends, family or neighbours for money.

Opposing bail, an investigating detective said the alleged victim has moved into temporary accommodation and doesn't want to return home.

"He's absolutely terrified," she said.

Defence barrister Stephen Toal confirmed Moore had accused the complainant of being a pimp.

Mr Toal said his client provided an account of being approached by an escort who told him the man had demanded she work for him.

He argued that CCTV footage from the property shows any conversations between Moore and the man were "amicable".

But the detective replied: "I would say from the body language and gestures you would not view it as a particlarly friendly exchange."

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told Moore was seeking release to look after his elderly parents.

Refusing bail, however, she cited the potential risk of interference with witnesses.

Moore was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link in four weeks time.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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