Pair charged with blackmail remanded in custody by judge


Two men were remanded into custody at the weekend charged with blackmailing a businessman for £6,000.

Appearing in the dock of Ballymena Magistrates’ Court, 36-year-old William Ian Robinson and 33-year-old David Andrew Kealey spoke to confirm their names and that they understood the charges against them.

Both Robinson, from Beechwood Drive, Balnamore in Ballymoney, and Kealey, from Burnside Park in Coleraine, are accused of blackmail on dates between December 16 last year and Friday.

The pair are also accused of intimidating the man from his home on the same dates.

The charges arise after an investigation carried out by the Serious Organised Crime Branch when officers raided a number of properties in Co Antrim, arresting three people and seizing a car.

On Saturday a detective constable told the court he believed he could connect Robinson and Kealey to the charges.

Solicitors Conor Heaney and Garett Greene did not lodge bail applications for the men so District Judge Dan Magill remanded the pair into custody to appear again via videolink on February 10.

A 35-year-old woman who was arrested during the operation was released on police bail pending further inquiries.