Antrim attacks 'part of loyalist feud'

Published Wednesday, 10 October 2012
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Rival loyalist paramilitaries have carried out beatings and gun attacks on homes as part of an ongoing feud in Antrim, the High Court has heard.

Antrim attacks 'part of loyalist feud'
A number of incidents have been reported since June. (© UTV)

Prosecutors revealed 26 incidents in the last four months are being linked to a dispute between the Ulster Volunteer Force and Loyalist Volunteer Force.

Details emerged as a man accused of smashing up a woman's car and trying to menace her was refused bail to return to the town.

Raymond Coburn, 31, of Woodgreen, Antrim faces charges of criminal damage and attempted intimidation.

During the summer he had been released to live with his grandfather in Ballymena. But in August he revoked his own bail amid claims of a threat from the UVF.

The court heard members of the paramilitary organisation warned him that his grandfather's house would be burned down if he did not leave. Coburn's application to be allowed back to Antrim was opposed due to continued tensions.

Fiona O'Kane, prosecuting, said: "As a consequence of this ongoing feud that has arisen between the UVF and LVF in the area since June 26 there have been 26 incidents reported to police involving criminal elements aligned to these two faction."

Although most of them were said to be in the Ballycraigy estate, others occurred in the town itself.

Mrs O'Kane added: "They involved threats to kill, criminal damage, assaults and the discharge of firearms at occupied homes in the Ballycraigy area."

Several guns have been seized in follow-up searches, the court was told.

Coburn is only charged in relation to an attack on a Vauxhall Astra car on 26 July.

His barrister, Michael Boyd, argued that his client is only alleged to have played "a peripheral role" in driving another suspect to the scene.

Mr Boyd claimed it was unfair to refer to "a plethora" of other incidents for which Coburn is not accused.

He added that his client was seeking to live with his father in the Steeple area of Antrim and could be banned from entering Ballycraigy.

The judge asked whether similar alleged intimidation could be directed at him there.

Mr Boyd replied: "I'm not an expert in these matters but as I understand it the UVF presence in that estate is nothing like their presence for example where he was living in Ballymena.

"There's clearly (also) a significant presence of UVF members in the Ballycraigy estate."

However, Mr Justice Horner refused to grant bail at this stage.

He said: "If I'm advised this feud is no longer ongoing I think a different view can be taken, but at the minute the advice is that there is an ongoing feud."

© UTV News
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4 Comments
Tom in Across the Pond wrote (751 days ago):
Am I mistaken in remembering that the LVF stood down all units and ceased to exist as an organization, in any form, some years ago? This is what I recall. So why are there still folks claiming to be in the LVF? There is no LVF. Also, did the UVF not say they ended all hostilities and gave over all of their weapons? I suppose hostilities are okay, so long as they are directed at within your own community. Sad. This feud should be done and over by now. It is sad to see both sides of this waste time, effort and most importantly, lives over what amounts to nothing but gangsterism on both sides. This is not about settling old scores, this is about profits. It is embarrassing to call your self a Loyalist with this type of rubbish still going on and on and on...
Robert in Belfast wrote (751 days ago):
well this is just case of loyalist paramilitaries fighting over the drugs trade in their area's again typical!
patto69 in Belfast wrote (751 days ago):
Are the UVF not on ceaefire? Given that they were very much evident during the recent rioting at Cartlisle Circus one wonders why the police have been so silent on the matter?
conair in belfast wrote (751 days ago):
Loyalists allegedly on ceasefire...i wonder what the dup/uup and usual unionist load mouths have to say about this or shall they suddenly loose there voices?
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