Belfast Telegraph

Machete and hook found under beds of father and son accused of traveller feud attack, court told

Belfast High Court.
Belfast High Court.

By Alan Erwin

A machete and a hook were allegedly found under the beds of a father and son accused of an attack linked to a feud between two traveller families, the High Court heard.

Charlie Ward Sr, 50, and 25-year-old Charlie Patrick Martin Ward face charges connected to an outburst of violence in Meigh, Newry earlier this month.

Prosecutors said a van was attacked on October 10 at Bearna Park while a young child was on board.

Windows on another vehicle were smashed during the same incident, the court was told.

Some witnesses claim the Wards, of O'Donoghue Park in Bessbrook, were present at the scene.

Both men face counts of hijacking, affray, arson, criminal damage and possessing a hook and machete.

The charges were said to be related to a fall-out within the travelling community in the area.

In a separate incident a man sustained shotgun injuries. Neither of the Wards is accused of any involvement in that shooting.

But opposing their applications for bail, a Crown lawyer claimed tensions remain high among the rival traveller families.

"It's possible some form of retribution may be considered," she said.

"The victims in this case have been warned against such actions, but police do have significant concerns."

Defence barrister Justin Byrne stressed both of the Wards deny being present at the Bearna Park attack.

He added that other witnesses who know his clients have not claimed they were involved.

Detaling the case against the father and son, including identification evidence, Mr Justice McAlinden said: "The other linking feature is the find of the hook and machete under the mattresses of these two defendants."

Bail was refused due to the risk of any further offences.

The judge pointed out: "The court takes significant regard to the fact that since these two individuals and another individual have been remanded in custody it appears there have been no further incidents involving these two families."

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