Carrickfergus pub attack accused calls off bail bid after Gilmore murder

A man accused of trying to kill a pub doorman in Carrickfergus has called off a bid to be released from custody due to tensions surrounding a loyalist murder in the town.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:56 am
Police said CCTV footage captured the attack on the doorman at the Royal Oak pub in Carrickfergus

Brian Sinclair was set to seek High Court bail on a charge with a suspected link to the ongoing paramilitary feud.

But his lawyer told a judge he had decided to put the application on hold following the shooting of George Gilmore.

The 50-year-old, of O’Rorkes Row in Carrickfergus, is one of three men charged with the attempted murder of a doorman allegedly beaten with a fire extinguisher at the Royal Oak bar last Saturday night.

Gilmore, 44, was in the public gallery when the trio made their first appearance at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday, sources have confirmed.

Just over an hour later the leading loyalist was shot in a car as he returned to the Co Antrim town. He died the next day.

Sinclair, his 36-year-old brother Ian, and Glen McCullough, 52, had allegedly attacked the doorman after being refused entry to the bar.

The victim remains in hospital with serious injuries, including a blood clot to the brain and several facial fractures.

CCTV footage shows both brothers punching the doorman, it was claimed at a previous hearing.

Brian Sinclair allegedly forced him to the ground before Ian Sinclair, of Elizabeth Avenue in Carrickfergus, lifted a fire extinguisher and repeatedly hit him as he lay in the hallway, according to police.

McCullough, from Castlemara Drive in the town, then allegedly picked up the extinguisher and threw it at the man’s head.

A detective confirmed at that hearing that the defendants believed the decision to stop them getting into the bar was linked to the feud between rival loyalist factions.

With all three remanded in custody, Brian Sinclair was set to be the first to go to the High Court for bail.

But his barrister told the judge he was now seeking an adjournment.

Michael Boyd said: “Having regard to other developments in that particular locality Mr Sinclair feels he would rather make this application at a different time.”

Mr Justice Colton agreed that it was “a very wise course of action”.

He added: “There may be merits in the (bail) application related to Mr Sinclair, but in the current climate it might be premature to bring the application.”