Pair accused of UDA extortion to face trial


Two Belfast men are to stand trial accused of targeting a businesswoman in a loyalist paramilitary extortion plot, a judge ruled on Friday.

David Moore and David Pollins face charges linked to an alleged UDA racket in the city.

They were arrested last September after police set up a surveillance operation at a building site near Belfast City Hospital.

It is claimed the pair made demands with menaces for the alleged victim to pay £1,000.

Moore, 33, of Monarch Parade, and Pollins, 31, from Broadway, are jointly charged with blackmail and belonging to, or professing to belong to, a proscribed organisation.

Both men appeared together at Belfast Magistrates’ Court for preliminary enquiry proceedings.

Represented by defence counsel Richard McConkey, they declined to say anything in response to the charges, call witnesses or give evidence at this stage.

A prosecution lawyer contended that a prima facie case had been established against the pair.

Based on papers before the court District Judge Fiona Bagnall backed those submissions.

She granted an application to have both men returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed.

Moore and Pollins were remanded back into custody until that hearing gets underway.