Northern Ireland news

Five to stand trial over murder of Colin Horner

Joseph Blair, Robert Ralph, Alan Wilson, Ryan Smyth and Terri Aicken

FOUR men and a woman are set to stand trial over the UDA feud murder of Colin Horner.

Mr Horner (35) was shot dead in front of his three-year-old son in the car park of a supermarket in Bangor on May 28 2017.

Detectives have linked the murder to an ongoing South East Antrim UDA feud in which Geordie Gilmore was killed death two months earlier in Carrickfergus.

At Belfast Crown Court today, four men pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Horner and also denied possessing a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life when the charges were put to them at an arraignment hearing.

The accused were Joseph Blair (35), of Shackelton Walk; Robert Ralph (47), of Donaghadee Road; Alan James Wilson (30) of North Green, all from Newtownards; and Ryan Graham Smyth (31), of Windsor Gardens in Bangor.

Also in the dock with her co-accused was Terrie Aicken (24), of Green Road, Conlig, Newtownards, who pleaded not guilty to a charge of perverting the course of justice.

The charge alleged that "on June 16, 2017, she provided a false statement to police''.

Defence lawyers for the accused said they would be engaging the services of experts in the fields of mapping, mobile phones and cell site analysis ahead of the trial.

Mr Justice Colton set the date of January 14 2019 for the non-jury trial, which is expected to last four weeks.

Four of the accused were released on continuing bail, while Mr Ralph was remanded back into custody.

Colin Horner was shot dead in Bangor last year

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