Belfast Telegraph

Shooting victim was attacked over fight that left man with black eye, court told

By Alan Erwin

A man shot in both legs was attacked in revenge for an earlier fight, the High Court was told yesterday.

The victim was blasted in the ankles after two masked intruders forced their way into a property in the Drumcree area of Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

One of them is alleged to be Mark Hay, of Beechway in the town, who faces charges of attempted murder, threats to kill, aggravated burglary, and possession of a firearm.

The 32-year-old denies any involvement in the attack on June 5, insisting it was a case of mistaken identity. Hay was refused bail, however, due to the risk of further offending.

The court heard two men in balaclavas went into the house, where a party had been held.

Robin Steer, prosecuting, claimed that one of them was recognised before a woman removed Hay's mask.

He alleged that the accused warned her: "Sit the f*** down or you're getting shot next."

Hay then walked forward and shot the victim in both ankles with a handgun, the prosecutor claimed.

The weapon used in the attack has not been recovered.

Madam Justice McBride was told that both intruders fled and were driven from the scene in a waiting car.

Disclosing the suspected reasons behind the gun attack, Mr Steer told the court that the victim had been in a fight earlier that day with the second, unnamed attacker.

"The other male received a black eye as a result of that," he said. "It appears to be a revenge attack for that."

According to the prosecutor, both the shooting victim and the woman picked out Hay as the gunman in an identity parade.

The defendant handed himself in to police on June 21, but insisted that he was not involved in the attack. During interviews, he stated: "It wasn't me, I was at my mother's all day. This is a case of mistaken identity."

Defence counsel Michael Forde argued his client was not forensically linked to the crime and questioned the reliability of the witness identification.

"There are live issues of collusion and contamination, which will be dealt with if this matter goes to trial," he told the court.

"The applicant's case is quite clear - he did not fire the gun, he did not hold the gun, he simply wasn't present."

But denying bail based on concerns about possible re-offending, the judge said: "I'm not satisfied there are any conditions I could impose which would reduce or extinguish that risk."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph