Three men to stand trial over masked gang attack on Belfast pub

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Three men have been ordered to stand trial later this year over an attack on a north Belfast pub.

Appearing at Belfast Crown Court for an arraignment hearing were David Thomas Majury, 48, of Church Green, Holywood, Co Down, Christopher Moore, 27, of Woodvale Drive, Belfast, and Andrew Morrow, 26, from Hopewell Crescent, Belfast.

All three pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful assembly and causing affray.

A prosecution lawyer told Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland that a certificate had been issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions for the case to be heard without a jury.

The judge fixed the trial for September.

As there were no issues around bail, all three were released to await the start of their Diplock-style trial.

No details were given in court on Tuesday about the charges faced by the three defendants.

But at a previous hearing before Belfast Magistrates’ Court in the wake of the incident, a judge was told that 20 masked men stormed the Mount Inn bar in Tiger’s Bay on February 21, 2018, to issue threats to five people for alleged anti-social behaviour.

Stools were overturned, two men were punched and patrons cornered during the “show of strength”, police claimed.

The judge heard a list of names was read out and warnings were issued that their alleged activities would not be tolerated.

A detective claimed they were in the group who arrived in a convoy of vehicles at the pub.

She said: “It would appear a show of strength was made when a crowd of masked men stormed the bar.”

The officer alleged CCTV footage showed customers being directed into a corner before the message was delivered, the court heard.

According to police, Majury, Moore and Morrow allegedly left with scarves and hoods up and got into a car together.

When the vehicle was stopped and searched one balaclava was said to have been recovered from under the driver’s seat.

Defence lawyers told the court that there was insufficient evidence to connect their clients to the charges.

However, the district judge ruled there was enough for a connection to the charges and released all three men on strict bail conditions.