The court said the West Belfast gun incident may be related to the attack on the victim looking for the perpetrators

Date:

Belfast Laganside Courts

The court heard today that the man who allegedly fired a gun in West Belfast may have been searching for those who claim he was attacked by a paramilitary man.

Police said Gary McLaughlin was on the street with the suspect and a gun last week.

The 27-year-old from the small town of North Howard Walk is accused of copying a firearm or firearm for instilling a fear of violence.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard that he was seen with a Glock handgun near his home address on Saturday afternoon.

Shortly thereafter, he allegedly struck a suspicious pistol in front of members of the public at nearby Argyll Courthouse and Fifth Street.

The investigator said CCTV footage showed McLaughlin at the time wearing the same clothes described by witnesses.

The court heard when he was found and arrested on Monday wearing similar clothes.

No firearms were found during the police searches.

The court heard McLaughlin say he spent the entire weekend in hospital after a paramilitary attack.

Unlike bail, the investigator called the risk of injury to McLaughlin or others.

“There may be a hypothesis that he has this alleged weapon to track down his alleged attackers,” he said.

When he appeared some distance from prison, the actors appeared on McLaughlin’s arm.

Defense attorney Thomas Thibodeau confirmed that his client denies the allegations.

Asked what happened to McLaughlin’s arm, the attorney said: “The day before the allegations, he had been attacked by paramilitaries.

He sustained several injuries, one of which was suspected of rupturing a ligament.

Further suggestions have been made that McLaughlin has been attacked in the past over a relationship that spans Belfast’s sectarian divide.

Tibodou said the proposed address outside the city would allow the accused to recover from his injuries.

However, bail was lifted due to the risk of further potential crimes.

Deputy District Judge John Connolly said: “There is an alleged paramilitary group or so-called context and context of the sentence.

“I am afraid that if there is a weapon, he can reach it and there may be retaliation from others, which may lead to escalation,” he added.

He brought McLaughlin back into custody to appear again on May 10.

Source: Belfastlive

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