Northern Ireland

Edward Gibson: Murder suspect 'may have fled NI'

Edward Gibson
Image caption Edward Gibson was shot in the Clonfadden Crescent area of west Belfast on 24 October

A suspect in the murder of a west Belfast man may have left Northern Ireland, the High Court has been told.

Prosecutors also revealed the gun used to shoot father-of-one Edward Gibson has still not been found.

Details emerged as bail was granted to Malachy Goodman, 58, of Rockmore Road in Belfast, who is charged with murder.

Mr Gibson, 28, was shot in the stomach and thigh in an alley near Divis Tower on 24 October. He died in hospital.

The killing is allegedly connected to a fight earlier the same day.

'Risk of interference'

Mr Goodman faces charges of murder, possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life, and having cannabis with intent to supply.

Opposing his bail application, a prosecution barrister argued there was a risk of interference with the main witness in the case.

The barrister said Mr Goodman may make contact with the man being sought.

She said: "He comes from the area but clearly he's no longer in the area. He's fled, potentially the entire jurisdiction, at this stage."

Defence lawyers have challenged the reliability of a description of the alleged killer, given to police by the main witness.

They said three different versions had been given, including significant differences between the gunman and Mr Goodman.

Renewing the bail application, a defence barrister said efforts to find an address outside west Belfast have been exhausted.

The judge said he could be released on tight conditions, including an exclusion zone around the area of the shooting.

He also banned the defendant from any contact with either the second suspect or three other people referred to by police.

Imposing a curfew, electronic monitoring and prohibition on private transport, the judge said: "He's not to be released from custody until the witness in this case has been told of the making of this order."

Related Topics