Northern Ireland

North Belfast raid: 'Execution' threat intruders jailed

Laganside courts

Two Belfast men who threatened to "execute" a bank official at his home have been jailed.

During the incident which occurred last March, the bank official was told in front of his two children that he would be "shot six times"

The two-man gang, who claimed to be "volunteers", also threatened to shoot his 22-year old son.

Anthony John Davidson and Hugh Martin Jude Kelly each admitted three charges over the north Belfast incident.

It happened on 14 March 2014. The intruders used an imitation gun.

Davidson, 25, of Ladbrook Drive, who has several convictions, was sentenced to four years, half of which will be served in custody, with the remaining two years spent on supervised licence upon his release.

Kelly, 46, from Carlisle Road, who only has one previous conviction, was given a three-and-a-half year sentence, which will also be spent half in custody and half on licence.

A judge said that while he accepted no-one was physically injured during the incident, threats were issued by people brandishing what looked to be a real gun.

During a previous hearing earlier this week, a prosecuting barrister said that around 07:40 on the morning of the incident, one of the pair called at the home claiming to be there to check the water meter.

When the caller was asked to produce identification, a second man appeared at the door and pointed a gun.

The intruders then demanded that the bank official's two children - who at the time were aged 22 and 17 - were brought downstairs and had their mobile phones taken from them.

Son threatened

The prosecutor said that while Davidson told the male occupant "if you don't follow my instructions, I'll shoot you six times", Kelly said to him "your son is of an age where he can be shot too".

The alarm was raised and police responded quickly. As officers arrived at the scene, they saw the two intruders leaving via a patio.

Police chased them, and the imitation weapon, designed to resemble a Beretta pistol, was later discovered in a garden.

Davidson and Kelly were both arrested. Both men refused to answer police questions during interviews.

However, they each subsequently pleaded guilty to three offences - possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, threatening to kill the bank official and also threatening to kill his son.