Northern Ireland news

Shots fired into a south Armagh woman's home

High Court judge Sir Richard McLaughlin said: "There's only one place for the law to be administered and it's in the courts."

SHOTS were fired into a south Armagh woman's home after she was allegedly attacked in a shop and subjected to anti-paedophile comments, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors also claimed CCTV footage has since been wiped at the store where she sustained a broken wrist and her son was threatened with death.

Granting bail to a 33-year-old man charged in connection with the initial suspected confrontation, a judge warned that any vigilantism will not be tolerated.

Sir Richard McLaughlin said: "There's only one place for the law to be administered and it's in the courts.

"If anybody thinking they can start running jungle trials outside they are going to be stopped."

Brendan Carragher, of Creenkill Road in Crossmaglen, faces charges of causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and making a threat to kill.

The allegations relate to an incident in the village on February 21.

Crown lawyer Adrian Higgins said others approached the woman and her son in the store and shouted: "Youse two paedophiles."

The comments are believed to be connected to her husband's imprisonment for sexual abuse offences, the court heard.

It was claimed that the woman tried to continue shopping, but was pushed into a display and fell to the ground, breaking her wrist.

Her son was allegedly assaulted when he tried to restrain Carragher, according to the prosecution.

Mr Higgins contended: "There was CCTV, but when police attempted to recover it, it appears to have been wiped."

Later the same night at least three shots were fired into the woman's home at Cloghoge Road in nearby Cullyhanna, the court was told.

No-one was injured and DNA tests are being carried out on one bullet recovered from the scene.

Carragher was arrested earlier this month and is not charged with any offences connected to the shooting incident.

The judge was also told he has allegedly lost his mobile phone.

Granting bail to an address in Bessbrook, outside Newry, he stressed that the accused will not be released until he has provided police with details of the service provider and number for the missing device.

In a wider address during the hearing, Sir Rchard also said: "The courts are being challenged at the minute by people who think the can take the law into their own hands.

"Somebody has been abused, the courts have dealt with that, but they are not going to have private vendettas.

"That's a challenge to the authority of the court and it will be met head-on."

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