Northern Ireland

Ian Ogle murder: Accused Mark Sewell refused bail

Ian Ogle Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Ian Ogle had acted as a spokesman for the loyalist community

A court has been told that one of the men accused of killing loyalist Ian Ogle in east Belfast "disappeared" for six weeks before handing himself into police.

Mark Sewell, 40, from Aigburth Park in east Belfast, is one of three men accused of the murder.

Mr Sewell's lawyer told the court his client was "robustly protesting his innocence".

He applied for bail on Tuesday, but was refused.

One of the reasons the judge gave for turning down Mr Sewell's bail application was his "disappearance" after the murder.

Image caption Floral tributes to Ian Ogle were left near the scene of his murder

Ian Ogle, 45, died after he was stabbed and beaten in the street near his home at Cluan Place on 27 January.

His partner, Vera, was in court on Wednesday as Mr Sewell appeared via video link from Maghaberry jail to apply for bail.

Police opposed the application saying they believed Mr Sewell was one of five men involved in the murder.

A detective told the court the suspect had been identified on CCTV, but when police subsequently went to try to question him, he "could not be found for six weeks".

Mr Sewell's defence lawyer told the court that there was no evidence that his client had left Northern Ireland, and that the police accepted this.

The lawyer said there had been tension in east Belfast, and that although Mr Sewell "wasn't available for six weeks", he later handed himself in to police as he knew they were looking for him to ask him questions.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A large crowd of mourners attended Mr Ogle's funeral

The lawyer argued his client should be granted bail, and said he would agree to a curfew and wearing an electronic tag.

However, after weighing up the case, the judge refused bail, saying there was a risk of another "disappearance". He also expressed concerns about the possible interference with witnesses.

Mr Sewell has the right to challenge the refusal in a higher court.

In March, Glenn Rainey, 32, of McArthur Court, east Belfast, was also charged with the murder.

Jonathan Brown, 33, of McArthur Court, has also appeared in court charged with the murder.

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