Man shot in stomach with a crossbow during blackmail attempt

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
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During an alleged attempt at blackmail a man was shot in the stomach with a crossbow, a court heard last Thursday.

Hugh Francis Boyce (25), Watsonville, Bleary, appeared in court by videolink from Maghaberry prison.

He is charged with alleged blackmail on July 11, entering a building at Millar Park, Lawrencetown, with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm on Thomas Joseph Barry, possession of an offensive weapon, a bottle, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assisting offenders and obstructing police.

A barrister representing Boyce made a bail application. Opposing bail a police officer outlined the background.

He said that police had received a report of a man having been shot with a crossbow.

The officer explained that the defendant and other men forced their way into a man’s home and it was alleged Boyce was carrying a bottle. He demanded money from the man on a weekly basis for protection.

He added that it was also alleged that Boyce assaulted the injured party by head-butting him.

The officer said police were objecting to bail because of the high risk of re-offending and a bail address offered in Gilford was close to the address of the injured party.

There was also the risk of interfering with witnesses.

Under cross examination the officer said that Paul Bingham had received a crossbow wound in the stomach but Mr Barry, who was holding the crossbow, claimed it went off by accident.

The accused’s lawyer said that the prosecution case was that Boyce was the main mover but Barry, the man with the crossbow, did not appear to be aiming it at Boyce when it went off in his hand.

He added that Barry who was arrested and questioned about attempted murder had been granted bail so Boyce was also entitled to bail for what is ultimately a blackmail case.

Deputy District Judge, Mr John Connolly, said Boyce was a man with a significant record concerning violence. He was concerned with interference with witnesses and commission of further offence.

Refusing bail, he said Boyce could apply to the High Court and adjourned the case until September 17.