Five men from Co Antrim will stand trial later this year on charges arising from a bar attack on a high-profile loyalist, a court heard on Tuesday.
All five defendants appeared at Belfast Crown Court, where they denied charges linked to a violent incident at McConnell’s Bar in Doagh.
Co Antrim loyalist Darren Moore was hospitalised after he was battered by a gang of men wielding weapons including baseball bats, hammers and a bar stool.
Aaron Norman Cahoon (28) from Cherrymount in Newtownabbey, 33-year old Robert Campbell from Clareville Avenue in Ballyclare, David Gibson (45) from Milewater Drive in Newtownabbey, 35-year old David Rush from Ballyvesey Green in Newtownabbey and Joshua Wylie (20) from Galgorm Road in Gracehill were all charged with causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Moore with intent to do him grievous bodily harm on March 15, 2017.
In addition, all five were charged with possessing offensive weapons - namely hammers and bats - with intent to causing grievous bodily harm on the same date, and also of causing an affray.
When all three charges were put to each of the defendants, all five men entered ‘not guilty’ pleas to all offences levelled against them.
After each of the five men entered their pleas, Judge Gordon Kerr QC confirmed the trial will be held in Belfast on September 25, 2018. He also ordered that the case be reviewed on August 28.
Telling the five men in the dock that they didn’t need to attend the review, and after hearing there was no objection to them being released on continuing bail, Judge Kerr told Cahoon, Rush, Gibson, Wylie and Campbell to return to the same court on the morning of their trial, then said “you are free to go”.