Kidnap accused denies demanding £10k, High Court hears
A former high-profile loyalist charged with kidnapping and blackmail told police the alleged victim was trying to recruit his friend to be a prostitute, the High Court has heard.
Darren Moore (49) denies that he demanded a £10,000 "fine" from the man and stole jewellery during a raid on his home.
Mr Justice Colton described it as "a most bizarre case".
Moore, from Ballynure Road in Ballyclare, also faces charges of burglary and driving while disqualified.
Prosecutors said Moore and an associate turned up at the alleged victim's Co Antrim home on January 29.
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 the man was allegedly informed: "Here's your fine, her brother is high up, you're going to be sorry."
It was claimed that a demand for £10,000 was made or £5,000 if he could get the money that day.
Moore and the other man were said to have driven him to a cash machine where he withdrew £90 before being brought back to his home. Prosecution counsel claimed that they then ransacked the property, taking jewellery from a safe and telling the man to ask friends or neighbours for money.
In police interviews, Moore said he had confronted the man about his behaviour towards a female family friend, the court heard.
Defence counsel Kelly Doherty said: "He made the case that he attended the complainant's house because the complainant had been attempting to recruit her (to work as a prostitute)."
She said police are investigating claims the alleged blackmail victim sent the woman text messages telling her he was both a pimp and a police officer.
Mr Justice Colton Bail granted bail on strict conditions.