Northern Ireland

Castlewellan man 'threatened assault victim with petrol bomb'

An assault victim was warned a flat he was in would be set on fire unless he withdrew his evidence, the High Court in Belfast heard on Monday.

Prosecutors claim a man armed with a suspected petrol bomb warned him the property would be doused.

Mark Lynch, 30, denies charges of intimidating a witness and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He also denies being armed with an offensive weapon and having a petrol bomb in suspicious circumstances.

Mr Lynch, of New Meadow Row, Castlewellan, claims to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

His lawyer argued that he had been trying to act as peacemaker in a row between two sides in Newry.

Mr Lynch allegedly became involved after a man was attacked outside a flat at Erskine Street in the city on 8 December.

'No DNA'

The victim was taken to hospital for stitches above his eye.

A prosecution lawyer said after he was discharged from hospital he returned to his friend's flat, where he was allegedly confronted by Mr Lynch - armed with a bottle of liquid - and a woman.

The barrister claimed Mr Lynch told him to withdraw his complaint against the alleged attacker or they would "douse his property with petrol".

The lawyer said the suspects had indicated they were prepared to burn the flat.

A defence lawyer argued instead that Lynch's role had been to defuse a row over obscene texts being sent to his co-accused.

He added: "This defendant instructs that there will be no forensic link between him and this bottle, there will be no DNA."

Bail was refused due to the risk of any further offences being committed.