Murdered teen’s brother ‘must stay out of Antrim’

Michael McIlveen.
Michael McIlveen.

The brother of a murdered schoolboy who is accused of arming himself with a ‘hunting knife’ and chasing one of those convicted of the 2006 killing, has failed in a bid to vary his bail conditions.

Andrew James Sean Smyth (18), an apprentice butcher, of Glendun Drive, Ballymena, is currently on bail following an alleged incident in which Aaron Wallace, in fear of his life, locked himself into staff toilets in a KFC restaurant in Antrim on May 13 this year.

Smyth appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday seeking to vary his bail, which currently bans him from Antrim, to allow him to visit his 70-year-old grandfather in the Rathenraw estate. A defence lawyer said the grand-father was like a “father-figure” to Smyth.

Smyth’s brother Michael ‘Mickey-Bo’ McIlveen was murdered in Ballymena eleven years ago. The 15-year-old who lived at Dunvale in Ballymena was killed after being chased by a gang and struck with a baseball bat in an alleyway in Ballymena town centre. He later died from brain injuries.

Aaron Wallace was one of the people convicted following the schoolboy’s death and as part of a prison release programme he was residing in Antrim at weekends before the May incident.

Smyth’s uncle, Sean Joseph Patrick McIlveen (44), a crane driver, of Devenagh Way, Ballymena, is also accused of being involved in the Wallace incident on May 13 this year.

Both accused are charged with assaulting Wallace and also assaulting his father who came to the scene. Smyth is also charged with having an offensive weapon - a large hunting knife - at Fountain Hill in Antrim and McIlveen is charged with having a large hunting knife with intent to commit an indictable offence, namely threats to kill.

McIlveen is further charged with making a threat to kill Aaron Wallace and resisting a police officer.

At Coleraine Court in May, District Judge Liam McNally said the case was linked to the “unfortunate murder” of Michael McIlveen and told the accused the police case is that they had “tried to exact revenge for that killing by taking the law into your own hands”.

He said he accepted that eleven years on emotions were still “raw” and the judge believed there was a likelihood of further offending but said in the circumstances he believed that risk could be monitored with conditions.

Both accused were released on their own bail of £1,000 with £2,000 sureties and they have to report to police three times a week.

They were banned from entering Antrim town and were to have no contact with Aaron Wallace or his father.

The judge told the accused they were “very fortunate” to be getting bail as it was a “fine line” and he warned them they will be remanded in custody if they breach any conditions.

At Monday’s court, a police officer said both accused have been complying with their bail.

A defence lawyer said Smyth wanted a change to his bail so he can visit his grandfather.

Objecting to Smyth being allowed to enter Antrim, a police officer said Rathenraw is very close to areas connected with the case and said she would have concerns if Smyth was allowed in to the town.

A defence lawyer said the incident in Antrim with Aaron Wallace had been a “chance encounter”.

District Judge Peter King said there were “very cogent reasons” to keep Smyth out of Antrim.

Rejecting the bail change, he told Smyth he had to “stay out of Antrim, full stop”.

Meanwhile, the defence lawyer said Sean McIlveen was finding it difficult to sign at a police station three days a week because he works in County Down.

Judge King agreed to amend the reporting to police to two days a week.