A judge was required to clear a courtroom after an outburst from family and friends of Pat Ward as the pair accused of his murder were returned to the cells after being charged.
Despite a very heavy police presence at Dungannon Magistrates Court prior to and during the hearing, emotions boiled over.
Mr Ward was murdered in what has been described as a brutal, frenzied attack. His body was discovered in a Clogher alleyway on Saturday morning.
Appearing in the dock were Niall Cox (23) and his partner Karen Marie McDonald (33) both McCrea Park, Clogher. They are jointly charged with murdering Mr Ward on 9 February.
Over 50 relatives and friends of the victim were in the public gallery, with some required to stand after seating ran out.
On being brought to the dock, some of those in the gallery rose to their feet and shouted abuse including calling Cox, “a murdering scumbag”.
District Judge John Meehan warned, “I will have the court cleared if required. There will be no breach of the peace in this court or the justice process.”
A detective inspector confirmed the charges against both Cox and McDonald could be connected.
No details of the incident were disclosed and there was no application for bail at this stage.
District Judge John Meehan remanded the pair in custody to appear again by video-link next month.
On being returned to the cells, tensions boiled over as members of the victim’s family applauded and jeered loudly, shouting various comments including “You’re an evil murdering scumbag Cox”.
With matters very tense, Judge Meehan ordered the court to be cleared.
Mr Ward’s family and friends left quietly without further incident.
For the full story see next week’s Herald.
Posted: 4:00 pm February 13, 2019