Samurai sword murder accused in court

Police forensic officers arrive at the Kirkistown Walk property in the Belvoir estate
Police forensic officers arrive at the Kirkistown Walk property in the Belvoir estate

A man has been remanded in custody charged with the sword murder of a senior loyalist paramilitary.

Relatives of veteran Ulster Defence Association (UDA) chief Colin ‘Bap’ Lindsay, 47, wept in court as Albert Armstrong, 46, appeared in the dock.

Colin 'Bap' Lindsay

Colin 'Bap' Lindsay

Mr Lindsay was hacked to death with a samurai sword in a brutal attack in the living room of his own house on Belfast’s Belvoir estate on Wednesday night.

Another man, 52-year-old Stanley Wightman, sustained severe injuries in the incident in the Kirkistown Walk property and later died in hospital.

Armstrong, of Mahee Close on the Belvoir estate, is charged with murder and attempted murder.

Standing in the dock wearing a grey fleece tracksuit top and bottoms, he spoke only to confirm his name.

He then nodded to acknowledge he understood the charges facing him.

Ahead of the hearing, District Judge Des Perry said he was aware the case was “emotive” but warned that any disturbance would force him to clear the court.

In the event, the brief hearing passed without incident amid a high police presence.

Armstrong’s solicitor did not make a bail application.

Judge Perry remanded the accused to appear in court again, via video link, on August 7.

Police have said the sword used in the attack belonged to Mr Lindsay.

The father-of-two was declared dead at the scene while Mr Wightman was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he underwent emergency surgery for severe head and neck injuries.

Relatives and friends of Mr Lindsay supported each other as they left Newtownards Magistrates’ Court after the hearing.

Police have also issued an appeal for information as they confirmed the death of Mr Wightman who was attacked along with Mr Lindsay on Wednesday.

The 52-year-old died from his injuries in hospital on Friday afternoon.

DCI Richard Campbell said: “We want to hear from anyone who saw or spoke to Colin Lindsay, Stanley Wightman or Albert Armstrong at any time on Wednesday or who knows anything about their movements.

“We are also appealing for information about the blue Mazda 6 car, registration number FHZ 6126. We want to hear from anyone who saw this car on Wednesday to contact us.

“Anyone with any information can call police on the non-emergency number 101 and ask for detectives at Ladas Drive or they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”