Northern Ireland

Victor Hamilton murder: Defendants deny charge

Victor Hamilton
Victor Hamilton

TWO men have denied murdering a man in Ballymena almost two years ago.

Mamadu Saido Djalo (31), of Derryveen Crescent, Dungannon, Co Tyrone and Michael Hanrahan (42), of Thomas Street, Craigavon, Co Armagh, appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Friday from custody for an arraignment hearing.

When the charge of murdering 63-year-old Victor Hamilton on July 26, 2022, was put to the them by the court clerk, both defendants replied not guilty.

Djalo further denied six counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice on dates between December 29, 2022 and March 22, 2023.

The charges state that he “attempted to do an act which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice, namely that he contacted a witness by telephone and attempted to persuade her to withdraw her witness statement’'.

A third co-accused, Mario Menees (33), of Portmore Street, Co Armagh, was not arraigned on Friday due to a legal issue, the court heard.

No date for the jury trial was set and Mr Justice O’Hara said he would review the case in April.

Mr Hamilton was found dead in a pool of blood outside his home at Orkney Drive in the Co Antrim town’s Ballykeel housing estate.