Northern Ireland news

Victor Hamilton accused allegedly confided they "got the wrong guy", court told

Victor Hamilton's body was discovered in a housing estate in Ballymena in July

ONE of the men charged with the murder of Victor Hamilton in Ballymena allegedly confided that they "got the wrong guy".

Prosecutors also revealed that a drugs and cash burglary is believed to have been the catalyst for the killing on July 26.

Details emerged as Mamadu Djalo (29) failed in a bid to be released on bail. Djalo, with an address at Springfield Crescent in Belfast, is among three men charged with the murder.

Mr Hamilton (63) was found dead in a pool of blood outside the flats where he lived at Orkney Drive in the Ballykeel 2 housing estate.

Post mortem examinations confirmed a stab wound that penetrated his chest as the cause of death.

Crown lawyer Iryna Kennedy claimed CCTV and number plate recognition evidence showed the three accused and a fourth suspect travelled in Djalo's car from Portadown to Ballymena on the day of the killing.

Djalo was then observed purchasing a box of disposable gloves before the vehicle was sited close to the scene of the murder, according to the prosecution. DNA analysis of blood found inside the car has confirmed that it was from the victim.

The court heard that prior to Mr Hamilton's death the resident of another flat in the area was contacted about a burglary incident. According to a witness in the investigation, Djalo then revealed in a phone call that he was going to the flat in Ballymena.

Djalo described how he and his friend "jumped" a man who came out of the flats, Mrs Kennedy contended.

Referring to the witness account, counsel said: "He stated that he slapped the male, but his friend stabbed him. He and his friend then ran to the car and left. He stated that it was meant to be the guy that burgled the flat, but it wasn't. It was the junkies upstairs and they had got the wrong guy."

Djalo allegedly said he believed the man was still alive when he left, discarding the knife in the countryside.

Lady Chief Justice Dame Siobhan Keegan refused bail.


Northern Ireland news