Two Belfast men who targeted the home of a bank official whilst armed with an imitation firearm have been remanded in custody.
As the pair were being led from the dock into custody, a group of around 40 people – including dissident republican activist Dee Fennell – burst into applause.
Anthony John Davidson, 25, from Ladbrook Drive, and 46-year-old Hugh Martin Jude Kelly, from Carlisle Road, appeared at Belfast Crown Court on three charges arising from an incident at the home of a bank official in the north of the city.
Prosecuting barrister Robin Steer revealed that around 7.40am on March 14 last year, the pair targeted the home. When the bank official opened his front door, he was greeted by a man wearing a high-visibility jacket who claimed he was there to check the water meter.
When the caller was asked to produce identification, a second man appeared at the door and a gun was produced. The male occupant – whose two children were in the house at the time – was told to calm down or he would be shot.
The intruders then demanded that the bank official’s two children – who at the time were aged 22 and 17 – were brought downstairs.
The court heard that while Davidson told the male occupant “if you don’t follow my instructions, I’ll shoot you six times”, Kelly said to him “your son is of an age where he can be shot too”.
The occupants managed to raise the alarm and police responded quickly. As officers arrived at the scene, they saw two men exiting the property via a patio, one of whom looked to be carrying a gun.
A chase ensued and the imitation weapon was later discovered in a garden.
Davidson and Kelly were both arrested, and both men refused to answer police questions during interviews.
However, they each subsequently pleaded guilty to three offences – possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, threatening to kill the bank official and also threatening to kill his son.
After listening to submissions from both the Crown and defence, Judge Kerr remanded Davidson and Kelly into custody and informed them they will be sentenced on Friday.