Northern Ireland news

Loyalist killer Garfield Beattie granted bail after being returned to jail for harassing victim's daughter

Garfield Beattie has been granted bail. Picture by Hugh Russell.

A CONVICTED loyalist killer jailed again for sending a menacing letter to his victim's daughter has been granted bail at the High Court.

Garfield Beattie (64) secured release from custody ahead of an appeal against his 15-month prison term.

Imposing strict conditions, a judge banned him from going within four miles of victim Denise Mullen's home.

Beattie was sentenced last month for sending a letter to her signed "East Tyrone UVF".

She had been present when her father, Denis Mullen, was gunned down at their home near Moy, Co Tyrone in 1975.

The shooting was carried out by the so-called Glennane gang, a notorious loyalist unit which operated at the height of the Troubles.

Denise Mullen. Picture by Mark Marlow.

Beattie, of Moss Road in Portadown, served 16 years for his part in the murder and two other killings.

He was arrested again after Ms Mullen received the letter in September 2020.

The correspondence reportedly related to a legal dispute over attempts to seize his assets.

Beattie admitted sending the letter but denied any malicious intent.

He was found guilty of attempted intimidation following a trial at Dungannon Magistrates' Court.

A judge imposed a 15-month jail term.

Beattie is set to appeal the sentence at a County Court hearing next Monday.

Prosecutors opposed his bid to be released.

Defence counsel Tom McCreanor confirmed Beattie is not seeking to overturn his latest conviction.

But he argued there is a realistic prospect that the appeal will ultimately lead to his client receiving a non-custodial sentence.

Granting bail pending the hearing, Lord Justice McCloskey ordered Beattie to report to police daily and have no contact with Ms Mullen.

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