A man discovered injured and naked in a wheelie bin in a park in Ballymena may have been “tortured”, a court has heard.
The comment was made by a PSNI detective constable during a bail application on behalf of two men and a woman accused of the attempted murder and false imprisonment of the man, who was discovered in the town’s Sentry Hill park on Tuesday, by a man walking his dog.
Teri Christopher Bernard Lau (26), of Dunclug Park, and David Roddy Patterson (26), of Glendun Drive, were remanded in custody when they appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court.
District Judge Desmond Perry released a third accused, Paula Wilson (20), of Millfield, on bail after the court was told that she had not been named by the injured party in relation to the assault.
The detective constable told the court that the incident had arisen out of a “drink and drug-fuelled party that lasted a number of days” at a address at Dunclug Park.
He said that the injured party’s last recollection, prior to being discovered in the park was of being assaulted in the bathroom of the premises. The police officer said it was unclear on which day the assault had taken place.
He said the injured party had sustained lacerations and bruises to his body and torso which, he said, looked “like he had been tortured”. The man also has a suspected injury to his liver.
The officer said that the bin had been found, taped up with parcel tape, at the bottom of a hill in the park. Blood-stained clothes belonging to the injured party were also recovered from the house.
The officer said the man had recalled being assaulted by Lau in the bathroom when a number of other people were present.
He said a female matching the description of Wilson had been observed in the park around 1.45 on Tuesday. He added that while investigations of Patterson’s mobile phone records were ongoing, the defendant was “implicated” by means of a text message on his phone.
Barrister Andrew Moriarty, representing Wilson, said that the description provided by the witness described a female aged between 14-16 with “dark locks”. He said that Wilson, who appeared in the dock wearing a navy top, is “manifestly bleached blonde” and said that evidence linking his client to the incident was “utterly tenuous”.
Barrister Sean Doherty, representing Patterson, said that the injured party had not identified his client “specifically as being involved in the assault”.
Mr Doherty said there was a “very murky background” to the case which will take the police “a significant period of time” to complete their enquiries.
Wilson was released on her own bail of £500, with a similar surety, to reside at an address in Cullybackey.
She will be electronically tagged, subject to a curfew and is banned from using or possessing a mobile telephone. She was banned from entering Ballymena other than legal or medical appointments and ordered not to have any contact with the injured party or any witness in the case.
Lau and Patterson were remanded in custody with all three accused due to appear again at Ballymena Magistrates Court on October 3.
As the defendants were led from the dock, there were shouts from the public gallery of “scumbags” and “you should be ashamed of yourselves”. The injured party’s father, who had earlier been escorted back to his seat by security staff after approaching the dock as the defendants were led into court, was visibly upset.