Court hears motive for Ballymena petrol bomb attack allegedly linked to a dog

Ballymena Court

A police officer told a court she believes the motive for a petrol bomb attack on a dwelling in Ballymena was related to registration papers for a dog.

The claim was made at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday where Tony Simpson (31), whose address was given as Shane Court in Broughshane, was granted bail.

The defendant had previously been remanded in custody on the charges at Antrim Magistrates Court on July 2.

He faces six charges relating to Sunday June 16 this year when a petrol bomb was thrown at a property at Lewis Park in Ballykeel Two at 8.30pm.

At the time police said one male was in the house but no injuries were caused.

The accused is charged with possessing a petrol bomb; attempted arson endangering life; criminal damage to a house window; driving without insurance; being an unaccompanied learner driver and failure to display L plates.

Opposing bail, a police officer said it was alleged that the defendant had gone to Lewis Park and made a threat to kill the occupant of a house before Simpson went to a car and got a bat.

He was shouting and allegedly damaged a window of the house.

Simpson then allegedly lit a petrol bomb and threw it at the property but it bounced back and he lifted it and threw it again.

The defendant then allegedly made off in a car.

The police officer said the injured party said he and the defendant were well known to each other.

Simpson, the officer said, presented himself at Antrim Area Hospital on June 17 and was then admitted to Holywell Hospital where he left voluntarily on June 25 and went to Antrim Police Station.

The officer said the defendant provided a number of alibis.

The police woman said they objected to bail on the grounds that the defendant had a record and he may commit further offences.

She said the alleged offences were “a step up from his usual behaviour”.

The court heard Simpson and the injured party had been very friendly and had even gone on holidays together.

Defence solicitor Emma McCann said there were four alibis who were saying they were with the defendant at the time of the offences.

The police officer said the alibi witnesses were claiming Simpson was with them in Broughshane.

The defendant was granted bail on the sum of £500 to reside at a property in the Ballymena area with a 10pm-7am curfew.

He has to surrender his passport and is not to contact the injured party.

Simpson must also stay out of Ballymena apart from attending his GP for which he must have a prior appointment.

The case was adjourned to Antrim Magistrates Court in August.

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