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Two in court over armed attack on house in Belfast's Markets area


A brawl broke out in the Markets area of Belfast

A brawl broke out in the Markets area of Belfast

A brawl broke out in the Markets area of Belfast

As many as six men armed with knives were involved in a house attack which went viral on social media, a court has heard.

The details emerged as two men charged over the incident applied for bail at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

Samuel Joseph Manning and Liam McDade are both accused of being involved in the incident in Friendly Street in the Market area of the city on Thursday.

The pair face charges of possession of an offensive weapon, causing damage to a door belonging to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and riotous behaviour.

Manning (32) of Lisbon Street, Belfast is accused of having a knife while McDade (33) of Mountpottinger Road in the city is alleged to have been carrying a metal stick.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told that the video showed six men getting out of three cars outside a house on Friendly Street with most were carrying weapons.

A police officer said the “quite violent altercation” focused on one house in particular and said police believe the two accused can be seen in the video.

She added that police had received “a lot of intelligence” about the incident.

McDade’s barrister objected to either man being connected to the charges on the grounds of lack of witnesses, formal identification or statements of complaint.

A police officer confirmed that there are no civilian witnesses linking him to the charges nor had any formal identification procedure taken place.

She explained that they were linked to the charges by officers viewing the video of the incident which had been posted on social media.

The barrister said there had to be a proper basis for charging someone and in this case the only evidence being relied upon is mobile phone footage of unknown origin.

Manning’s lawyer added that threats against his client had been issued following the incident.

However, Judge Bagnall said she the reasonable grounds to suspect someone of committing an offence was a “relatively low bar” and she was satisfied they could be connected to the charges.

She released both men on their own bail of £500, subject to addresses being approved by police.

They are due to appear again on the May 21 and 22 via videolink.

Belfast Telegraph