Robbery accused had ‘no case to answer’

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FOUR men accused of having a gun and trying to raid a house near Kingsmoss last week walked free from court after the charges against them were dismissed.

At Belfast Magistrates Court on Wednesday (October 10), Newtownabbey men Ryan Neil Hagan, 27, of Cherrymount; Darren James McKee, 27, and David Carson Allen, 24 - both from Forthill Drive - appeared in court alongside Andrew David Boyd, 27, of Glenfield Road, Lurgan, charged with having a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, possession of the weapon in suspicious circumstances and attempted aggravated burglary.

The four were arrested when police stopped a car in west Belfast just hours after an alleged attempted raid on a house on the Doagh Road near Kingsmoss on Tuesday (October 9).

Defence lawyers argued that they could not be connected to the case because the alleged victim had claimed that only three men had been involved in the incident. Mr Hagan’s solicitor said one of the four in the dock must therefore be innocent.

The solicitor challenged the strength of the prosecution case and contended that there was insufficient evidence to connect his client to the charges.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall backed his assessment and refused to remand any of the accused.

She ruled that the four defendants had no case to answer and discharged them from the custody of the court.