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No bail for murder accused farmer

A farmer accused of killing a man gunned down in his car must remain in custody, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Weatherup refused bail to Jimmy Seales after hearing a claim that he was “malingering” over his own injuries in a bid to plot his way out of custody.

Seales (54), from Ballykeel Road, Hillsborough, is one of four men currently charged with the murder of Philip Strickland.

The 36-year-old victim was shot in the head and leg near Comber, Co Down, on January 11.

Seales was himself allegedly kidnapped and subjected to a vicious assault months before the shooting. His lawyers argue that the injuries inflicted in the beating meant he was incapable of firing the shotgun said to have been used in the killing.

However, the judge pointed out: “What we have, I'm told, is a statement by a prison officer... that he (Seales) is malingering manipulatively for a purpose designed to get his release... on the basis he couldn't have done this.”

He ruled: “I'm going to refuse bail because I feel there are risks that have been outlined.”

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