Belfast Telegraph

Man jumped from Derry first floor window in fear of armed gang, court told

By George Jackson

A man jumped out of the first floor window of his house in Londonderry because he feared he was going to be attacked by an armed paramilitary gang, a court heard yesterday.

A detective made the comment when four men, two of them brothers, appeared at Londonderry Magistrates Court charged with committing offences linked to an incident outside a house at Hollymount Park in the Waterside area of the city early on Sunday morning.

Wayne Michael Campbell (34) from Hawthorn Terrace, is charged with the aggravated burglary of the house.

His 31-year-old old brother, Gavin John Campbell, from Cecilia's Walk, is also charged with aggravated burglary and with driving without insurance and while disqualified.

Nathan Doyle, a 21-year-old nursing auxiliary from Helen Street, is charged with aiding and abetting in an aggravated burglary. He has admitted possessing an imitation firearm and a baton.

The fourth defendant, Eamonn Kelly (25), a self-employed electrician from Ballymagowan Avenue, is also charged with aggravated burglary.

The detective constable told District Judge Barney McElholm that CCTV footage showed a white Kia Sportage being driven across the Craigavon Bridge, first towards and then away from the Waterside, minutes before and after the incident.

He said the defendant Doyle was seen getting out of the car on the bridge as it was being driven towards the Waterside and going to the assistance of a distressed woman.

He later accompanied the woman in a police car to Altnagelvin Hospital, the court heard.

The police witness said that shortly after Doyle got out of the car, it continued to Hollymount Park, where a masked man armed with an imitation firearm forced his way into a house occupied by a couple and two children aged four and two and demanded drugs. The male occupant shouted at the masked man that he was at the wrong house, before he shouted: "Oh my God there's a gunman" and jumped from an upstairs window, the court heard.

Two men were then seen getting into a white-coloured car outside the house.

The ownership of a similar vehicle was traced to Gavin Campbell and when police arrived at his address, the car was parked outside, it was alleged.

The court heard that a taxi then arrived at the address and as the defendants Doyle and Kelly tried to get into it, they were arrested.

The Campbell brothers, who were both in the house, were also arrested and all four defendants were taken into police custody.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said there were a lot of unknowns in relation to the case.

"It is clear something happened, but why it happened or what the background is, we don't yet know," he said.

"But I do know there was a four-year-old child and a two-year-old child in this house.

"I also know there has been far too many incidents going on in this city for far, far too long.

"There are too many people in this city who think they can take the law into their own hands."

Judge McElholm said: "The message has to get out to the people of this city that this will not be tolerated."

All four of the accused men were remanded in custody for a video-link appearance on December 27.

Belfast Telegraph

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