Bail bid hears gruesome details of alleged attack on man found near dead in Ballymena field
A LEADING loyalist allegedly beat and stabbed a man to the point of death because he owed him a £200 drug debt and was stealing his customers, the high court has heard.
David ‘Dee’ Coleman is also accused of punching and kicking the injured man while forcing him to call himself and his daughter the “c-word”.
The 36-year-old, who hails from the Shankill estate in Belfast but now lives in Ballymena, is charged with attempted murder, kidnap and possession of a class C drug.
It came after the victim was found severely injured in a field outside the village of Broughshane, Co Antrim, on October 11.
Coleman appeared before the high court via video-link from Maghaberry Prison on Friday seeking to be released on bail.
Objecting to Coleman being freed, a barrister for the Crown told Lord Justice McCloskey that the man was found with a stab wound near his heart, a slice wound on his face down to the bone and a fractured skull.
She said the man was in intensive care for a number of weeks before he was able to make a statement to police and is still awaiting further surgery.
The lawyer said on the date of the incident the man had a number of calls from Coleman to come to his flat on Fountain Place in Ballymena to help him bag up cocaine.
The man admitted having met Coleman a number of times in recent years and to having bought cocaine off him in the past. He also admitted owing Coleman a £200 drug debt.
He said while he was there Coleman accused him of stealing clients and hacking his phones before attacking him.
The barrister said that Coleman also heated a kitchen knife on a stove before sticking it into his chest.
Coleman, she said, also forced him to clean up his own blood from the floor and demanded he call himself and his daughter “a word colloquially known as the c-word”.
The lawyer said the man told police he could hear Coleman asking an unknown person, “Where do you go to get rid of someone?” before he was forced into the boot of a car. He also claimed he could hear a “Ballymena man” giving directions to the driver of the vehicle.
The court was told Coleman gave a no comment interview when he was arrested and there were concerns about interference with witnesses and of failure to appear for hearings should he be released.
Coleman’s barrister said there had been “significant” delays in the case and there was no evidence that he would flee Northern Ireland if released as he was arrested while on bail for other offences.
He added that Coleman denies all the allegations against him and there was no forensic link to the alleged victim and Coleman’s flat.
Lord Justice McCloskey said while the application had been put “realistically and succinctly” it “must be refused” due to a risk of reoffending and interference with witnesses.
Coleman was taken back into custody to appear in court again on August 18.