Man to stand trial on Belfast sword murders

Police forensic officers at the scene of the deaths in the Belvoir estate in July
Police forensic officers at the scene of the deaths in the Belvoir estate in July

A south Belfast man has been ordered to stand trial accused of a gruesome double murder.

Appearing at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court, 46-year-old Albert Armstrong confirmed that he was aware of the two charges against him.

Armstrong, from Mahee Close in the Belvoir estate, is in custody accused of the murders of his friends Colin ‘Bap’ Lindsay, 47, a former UDA commander, and 52-year-old Stanley Wightman.

It had been reported that the three men were together in Mr Lindsay’s home at Kirkistown Walk, also in the Belvoir estate, when Armstrong allegedly attacked them with a Samurai-type sword.

Mr Lindsay was pronounced dead at the scene on July 8, and Mr Wightman died from his injuries two days later.

Speaking at the time, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Richard Campbell said he believed the sword recovered near the scene of the killing was “likely... the weapon that was used in the attack”.

He said Mr Linsday had “suffered a very brutal death”.

On Friday a prosecuting lawyer submitted there is a prima facie case against the alleged killer, based on the statements and papers before the court.

As Armstrong’s defence lawyer had no contrary submissions, District Judge Mark Hamill returned the case to the Crown Court for trial.

Remanding Armstrong back into custody and granting legal aid to include a senior QC, the judge ordered Armstrong to appear for his arraignment on November 20.