Northern Ireland news

Nine men and a woman appear in court on charges arising from Paramilitary Crime Task Force raids

Ian Ogle murder accused Glenn Rainey. Picture by Pacemaker

NINE men and a woman appeared in court today on charges arising from searches carried out by the PSNI's Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

Raids on houses in east Belfast, Newtownards and Comber were conducted last month and a number of arrests were made as police seized drugs, cash and cars.

Ten people attended Belfast Magistrate's Court for a first appearance - including a man accused of murdering father-of-two Ian Ogle.

As well as being charged with murder, Glenn Rainey is one of eight men facing drug dealing offences, while a ninth man has been charged with breaching the Data Protection Act.

During the hearing, an application to amend the terms of Rainey's bail conditions to allow him to attend his GP was granted - despite police objections.

District Judge Alan Whyte was told Rainey has been charged with the January 2019 murder of east Belfast man Ian Ogle, and is currently on High Court bail.

Solicitor Mark Austin, representing 33-year old Rainey, revealed his client had recently spent a period of time in the Royal Victoria Hospital, and was released on Monday.

Pointing out Rainey's GP surgery was in Bryson Street - which Rainey is banned from entering as part of his bail conditions - Mr Austin asked the district judge to "show some degree of sympathy for a man who was in intensive care, who was only released on Monday, and who under direction from the Royal Victoria Hospital, needs to go to his GP."

A PSNI sergeant told District Judge Alan Whyte that police were objecting to this. Highlighting reports of intimidation in the area and saying the Ogle family would be "re-traumatised" by Rainey's presence, the officer also raised concerns for Rainey's own personal safety.

The police officer questioned how and why Rainey ended up in the Royal, and was told by Mr Whyte that he had seen a medical report which confirmed the accused had been "critically ill in hospital."

Mr Whyte granted the application to allow Rainey to attend his GP - but said he must notify the police first, and leave immediately after his appointments.

A second request to vary bail to allow Rainey to have a mobile phone were refused.

Ian Ogle was murdered in January

Rainey, from McArthur Court in Belfast, is one of nine people accused of being concerned in the supply of cocaine. Also facing the same charge are Neil Findlay (48) from Park Avenue in Belfast; 24-year old Taylor Gray from Oval Court in Belfast; 32-year old Daniel Baine from Connswater Grove in Belfast; Richard Close (48) from Clonduff Avenue in Belfast; 32-year old Jonathan Watson from Weavers Grange in Newtownards; 40-year old Simon Mooney from Mountjoy Street in Belfast; Daniel Irvine (47) from Tower Street in Belfast, and 46-year old Maggie Hutton from Wolff Close in Belfast.

Samuel Taylor, from Kingswood Park in Belfast, was charged with two counts of unlawfully obtaining and/or disclosing personal information - names and addresses - contrary to the Data Protection Act. The 34-year old is charged with committing the offence on May 22, 2018 and again on August 6, 2018.

A solicitor for Taylor revealed: "He has been suspended from work as a result of the allegations."

All ten appeared in the dock and confirmed they understood the charges against them.

Mr Whyte released all ten on continuing bail, and re-listed the case before the same court on May 30.

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