Goddard killing: three appear in court

The wife and mother of murdered Matthew Goodard leave Laganside Court as three men where remanded in custody charged with murder
The wife and mother of murdered Matthew Goodard leave Laganside Court as three men where remanded in custody charged with murder
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There is “animosity” between two brothers and a third man accused of beating a man to death in his own home two days before Christmas, a judge heard on Saturday.

Solicitor Hamill Clawson, acting for 25-year-old Christian Walker, asked if he could be dealt with separately from brothers William Turner (35) and James Turner (29) as there was “animosity” between the alleged killers.

Pacemaker Press 10/1/2015 'Family and Friends  of murdered  Mathew Goodard comfort each other as they  leave Laganside Court,   Three men where remanded in custody charged with the murder of  Mathew Goddard  at Chobham Street in  east Belfast  on Christmas eve.  Brothers, William Robert Turner, 35,  James Henry Turner, 29, and Christian Walker, 25,  appeared in court on Saturday.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 10/1/2015 'Family and Friends of murdered Mathew Goodard comfort each other as they leave Laganside Court, Three men where remanded in custody charged with the murder of Mathew Goddard at Chobham Street in east Belfast on Christmas eve. Brothers, William Robert Turner, 35, James Henry Turner, 29, and Christian Walker, 25, appeared in court on Saturday.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

District Judge Bernie Kelly refused the application however, commenting that she was sure “the prison staff can deal with that situation”.

Belfast men Walker from Ribble Street, William Turner from Glenlea Grove and James Turner from Dunraven Court, are all jointly charged with the murder of Matthew Goddard on a date unknown between December 23 and 24 last year.

The Turner brothers themselves are jointly charged on a further count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Gareth Gratton on December 23 following an incident at licensed premises in east Belfast.

Matthew Goddard, who was 41, was found dead in his house in Chobham Street at about 9:40pm on Christmas Eve.

He was last seen alive at about 6pm on December 23.

It has been reported that he was beaten to death with his own guitar.

As his alleged killers were led into the dock in handcuffs Mr Goddard’s wife, sat just a few feet away from the dock, burst into floods of uncontrollable tears and had to be comforted by her mother in law.

Following an outburst from a man in the public gallery who shouted at the defendants that they were “scumbags” Judge Kelly issued a warning that any further “wilful disruption” would be dealt with severely.

Giving evidence to the court Detective constable Carson, the officer in charge of the murder investigation, said he believed he could connect each of the defendants to the offences.

No bail applications were lodged with the court and that being the case judge Kelly remanded all three into custody to appear again via video link on Thursday, 15 January.

Walker was the first to leave the dock and after he did so, another man in the public gallery launched a foul mouthed abusive tirade at the Turner brothers.

Judge Kelly ordered court security staff to stop the man and after allowing him a little time to consult with a solicitor, give him a severe dressing down for his outburst in court.

Giving his name as 25-year-old George Walker from Harland Drive in Belfast, he apologised to the court for his outburst describing Mr Goddard as “one of my best friends”.

The judge fined him £150 along with an offender levy of £15 for his outburst allowing him 12 weeks to pay but issued a stark warning that judges had the power to jail anyone who wilfully disrupts a court, adding that any more outbursts in future court proceedings “will be met with much more severe penalties.”

Mr Goddard’s wife was in floods of tears and being comforted by Mr Goddards mother as the pair hugged each other while walking from the court