Belfast Telegraph

Former Irish League footballer to challenge evidence in blackmail case, court told

Darren Moore
Darren Moore

By Alan Erwin

A former high-profile loyalist accused of blackmail and burglary is to challenge some of the evidence against him, it emerged today.

Darren Moore, 49, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court over claims he demanded a £10,000 "fine" from a man and stole jewellery from his home.

Moore, of Ballynure Road in Ballyclare, faces charges in connection with an alleged raid on January 29 this year.

A previous court heard the ex-Irish league footballer and an associate turned up at the injured party's house in Co Antrim on that date.

It was claimed they wanted to know if he had visited an escort at a house on Belfast's Crumlin Road, asking if was a pimp and ran a brothel.

According to the prosecution case the man was informed that he was being fined, with demands made for either £10,000, or £5,000 if he could get the money that day.

His property was then allegedly ransacked by intruders who took jewellery taken from a safe.

Moore denies charges of blackmail and burglary.

His lawyers previously claimed he went to the complainant's home to confront him about alleged attempts to recruit a friend into prostitution.

In court today defence counsel Kelly Doherty confirmed plans to test the strength of the case before it proceeds to any trial.

Deputy District Judge McCourt noted: "You're challenging the evidence of some of the witnesses on the papers."

Moore was released on continuing bail as proceedings were adjourned for two weeks.

Mr McCourt also granted an application to have the defendant's electronic tag removed, but confirmed he still remains under curfew.

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