L’ESCALATION DELL’UDA A LARNE. UNA GANG DI 70 UOMINI RIDUCE UN PORTOGHESE IN FIN DI VITA
A man was left for dead after a 70-strong masked mob attacked his home with hammers, swords and golf clubs, the High Court heard today.
The victim, a Portuguese national, was beaten unconscious and suffered stab wounds and two broken legs in an assault being blamed on the UDA, prosecutors said.
Details emerged as bail was refused to one of the men accused of involvement in the onslaught of violence in Larne, Co Antrim earlier this year.
Stephen Mettleton, 34 and from Rossmore Green in Greenisland, denies charges of attempted murder, intimidation, criminal damage and rioting.
Houses were attacked by up to 100 men brandishing weapons during serious disorder in Larne on March 30.
Prosecuting counsel Natalie Pinkerton claimed around 70 of those involved targeted the home at Knockdhu Park.
It was alleged that they pounded the doors with hammers, golf clubs and swords before entering and attacking a man inside.
He was stabbed and beaten, suffering a punctured lung, while his two daughters were in another part of the house.
Ms Pinkerton said: “It’s the police view that the crowd dispersed because they had either killed (the man) or left him for dead.”
The court was told the victim is originally from Portugal.
At this stage, however, police do not believe he was attacked because of his nationality.
A judge was told the attack is being linked to the UDA’s south east Antrim unit.
Mettleton is allegedly connected to the attack by DNA on gloves found in a bin not far from the home.
But counsel for the accused, who is not accused of paramilitary membership, confirmed his client denies the charges against him.
Mettleton insists he was nowhere near the scene.
Refusing bail, however, Mr Justice Stephens cited the risks of further offences or possible interference with witnesses.