Man accused of kidnap and stealing £500 from victim refused bail
A man was subjected to a three-hour kidnap ordeal after being attacked, Coleraine Magistrates Court heard yesterday.
Details emerged as William Christopher Kennedy (29), of Moycraig Road near Bushmills, was charged with kidnapping a man; stealing £500 from him; and aiding and abetting grievous bodily harm (GBH) on him.
A bail hearing proceeded yesterday in Kennedy's absence after a fault developed with the video link. A police officer objected to bail saying she feared the defendant could interfere with the injured party, who lives in Portstewart, and witnesses.
The detective constable said three other suspects were still being sought by police and there was a hunt for a vehicle.
The officer said the victim's wife was contacted online and received phone calls advising her not to co-operate with police.
She said the approaches were not made by the defendant who was in custody. The court also heard witnesses are frightened.
The policewoman told the court a "kidnapping" took place last Tuesday and the injured party named Kennedy and three other suspects.
The four suspects came to the man's home and "invited him out for lunch". In hindsight the victim believed it was a ploy to get him out of the property, she said.
Two vehicles were used, one of which was later seized, and they travelled in convoy. The detective said police believe Kennedy was driving one of the vehicles.
She said the victim was driven to a lay-by at Tesco in Portstewart where he was assaulted by another suspect.
The man was then driven to Ballymoney where a "shed was searched looking for cash" before he was brought to the Ballysally estate in Coleraine where the injured party got some money and handed it over.
The police officer said the victim escaped through a window and alleged Kennedy gave chase.
The injured party was able to get another person to raise the alarm but another co-accused then threatened the victim saying he would "choke you out" and told him: "Get in the car, I'm not finished with you."
A defence barrister said the defendant had "given a complete denial" of the allegations.
The defence lawyer said there had been "some discussion about broken ribs and a broken eye socket" and District Judge Peter King said there was suggestion of injuries from a knuckleduster.
Rejecting bail, Judge King said there were clear risks of interference. Kennedy was remanded in custody and the case was adjourned to January 13.