Sunday Life

| 1.6°C Belfast

Brothers accused of joining jealous husband in murder bid on wife's lover

Brothers accused of aiding jealous hubby

Close

Brian McCook

Brian McCook

Brian McCook

These are the two brothers accused of joining a jealous husband in a murder bid on his wife's lover.

North Antrim men Stephen (28) and Brian McCook (24) are jointly accused with David Austin of trying to kill Steven Peck after 54-year-old Austin discovered his wife was having an affair.

Coleraine Magistrates Court heard it is the police case that Mrs Austin was made to arrange to meet Mr Peck last Sunday evening but instead of meeting her, he was confronted by her husband and two friends.

The trio allegedly meted out what a detective described as a "vicious beating" before Mr Peck was "left basically to die."

A dog walker saw the stricken Mr Peck lying injured on a path on the Garryduff Road close to the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney.

Close

Stephen McCook

Stephen McCook

Stephen McCook

The walker alerted authorities who rushed Mr Peck to hospital for treatment.

Austin, from Cherry Drive in Ballymoney and the McCook brothers, both from the Urbal Road in nearby Dervock, are all charged with the attempted murder of Mr Peck.

Brian McCook was further charged with making threats to kill "key witnesses" Mrs Austin and a man who lives in the Austins' house.

While the trio of alleged would-be killers appeared in court on Friday, they may not be the last with DC O'Donnell revealing that "other suspects have been identified".

The officer told the court that according to Mrs Austin, she was at home and had been "getting a number of phone calls from the injured party."

"She was in a sexual relationship with him," said the police officer. "We believe... that the motivation for the attack stems from that sexual relationship in that her husband David Austin found out about it and the McCooks, as their friends, helped him carry out the vicious attack," said the officer.

It was also part of Mrs Austin's account, recorded in a videotaped police interview, that the three planned the attack in her home, left to carry out the attack and that after they came back, they stayed "for a short while" before leaving together. Meanwhile, the other key witness, a man who "lives on the sofa" in the Austins' house, told detectives that when the defendants came back, there was blood on the latex gloves being worn by Austin but that he threw them into the fire.

The McCooks, according to the witness, had been wearing black gloves but they too were destroyed in the fire before they left.

The court heard that Stephen McCook had claimed he was with his father in his own home, while his brother claimed he had been with his mother at a property in Ballycastle before getting home at around 7.30pm.

District Judge Peter King refused bail and remanded the three accused into custody until February 1.

slnews@sundaylife.co.uk

Sunday Life


Privacy