Belfast Telegraph

Stolen gun used in 'punishment attack is linked to up to nine paramilitary shootings in Belfast', court hears

By Alan Erwin

A stolen gun used in a so-called punishment attack is linked to up to nine paramilitary shootings in north Belfast, a court has heard.

Detectives also claimed a man accused of one attack nearly five years ago is connected by a DNA match with blood on a knife used by the victim's mother.

Patrick O'Neill (40) appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court to face charges of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possession of a Glock 17 9mm pistol with intent to commit an indictable offence.

The alleged offences relate to an attack on a man in a house at Brompton Park in Ardoyne in November 2010.

The victim was shot up to seven times in the abdomen, groin and legs.

At the time dissident republican grouping Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) was blamed for the attack.

O'Neill, of no fixed address, was charged after a forensic link was made earlier this year.

A detective claimed the defendant's DNA matched a blood sample taken from the knife wielded by the shooting victim's mother in a bid to fend off his attackers.

It was also revealed that police investigations have linked the gun to nine so-called punishment shootings in the area.

O'Neill, who is not charged in connection with any of the other attacks, was granted bail.

However, O'Neill is expected to remain in custody pending the outcome of a prosecution challenge to him getting bail. He will appear again by video-link at the High Court on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph