Steven Peck: Two women appear in court over Ballymoney murder

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image captionThe attack happened near the Joey Dunlop leisure centre last Sunday night

The mother and sister of two men allegedly involved in a fatal attack in Ballymoney have appeared in court.

Steven Peck, 33, was the victim of an assault near the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney on 3 January.

Last week, before Mr Peck died in hospital, three men appeared in court charged in connection with the attack.

On Wednesday the two women were charged at a hearing of Limavady Magistrates Court.

Lisa Gemmell, 29, from Union Street in Ballymoney, is accused of perverting the course of justice.

She is alleged to have destroyed evidence relating to the murder.

Easther McCook, 46, from Urbal Road in Dervock, is charged with assisting offenders by providing a false alibi and interfering with witnesses.

'Left basically to die'

Last week, David Austin, 54, from Cherry Gardens in Ballymoney, and brothers Stephen McCook, 28, and Brian McCook, 24, from Urbal Road in Dervock were charged with attempted murder.

The court heard that police believe Mr Peck was having an affair with Mr Austin's wife and he believed he was meeting her but instead, he was confronted by the defendants who attacked him and he was "left basically to die".

Today's hearing was told that the McCook brothers are sons of Easther McCook and brothers of Lisa Gemmell.

A police officer said the case against Easther McCook was that while the three men were carrying out the attack, she allegedly stayed with Mrs Austin and had her phone, which would have prevented her from contacting Mr Peck to warn him or to alert the police.

The police officer also outlined that the case against Gemmell was that she went to the Austin family home sometime after the attack and allegedly took Mrs Austin's phone from her and deleted data and contact details from it.

Defence lawyers argued that bail conditions could be put in place to assuage police concerns.

District Judge Peter King refused bail and both women were remanded into custody until 1 February.

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