Belfast Christmas Eve murder accused banned from city

Matthew Goddard was found dead at his home
Matthew Goddard was found dead at his home

A man accused of a Christmas Eve killing in east Belfast is to be banned from entering the city, a judge has ordered.

The prohibition was imposed on Christian Walker as part of bail conditions on a charge of murdering Matthew Goddard.

Mr Goddard, 41, was found dead at his house on Chobham Street in the city.

Police said the victim had been beaten with his own electric guitar.

Murder charges have been brought against 25-year-old Walker, of Ribble Street in Belfast, and two brothers from the city.

William Turner, 35, of Glenlea Grove, and James Turner, 29, from Dunraven Court also face further allegations of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Gareth Grattan in a separate incident on December 23.

Walker’s application for bail was not opposed by police at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

District Judge Amanda Henderson was told Walker can stay at an address outside the city which will be available from next week.

A defence lawyer confirmed the plan was for his client to be released from custody next Tuesday.

Judge Henderson told the accused: “The bail terms are numerous and stringent. (They include) a blanket ban from Belfast.”

Walker was also ordered not to try to make contact with his co-accused or any witnesses in the case.

A night-time curfew and ban on alcohol were also imposed.

The accused, who must report to police three times a week, will appear again in court on February 19.