A woman, her son and her 13-year-old daughter were attacked by masked intruders wielding a baseball bat who burst into their home in Ballymena and told them to leave their home just hours after police carried out a drugs raid at the address, it has emerged.
A police officer outlined the details at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday where 45-year-old unemployed Ryan Moore, whose address was given as Drumtara, Ballymena, appeared via video link from prison where he had been remanded to during an earlier court appearance on Friday.
He is denying charges of aggravated burglary and attempted intimidation relating to an incident at Drumtara just before midnight last Wednesday.
A police officer told the court four people were believed to be involved in the attack including two people who forced their way into the house and told a woman: “You have to stop what you are doing, you have 48 hours to get out of here”.
The officer said the PSNI believe the incident may be connected to the woman’s house being searched earlier in the day by police under the Misuse of Drugs Act when nothing was found.
The officer said over the weekend there had been further incidents and the woman had her “windows put in on two occasions”.
The officer said at 11.57pm on Wednesday May 17, police received a report a woman and her son had been assaulted when the front door of their house was forced open and two males entered a bedroom assaulting the woman causing her bruising.
The woman’s son (18) pulled one of the men away and a daughter (13), who was in the bedroom, was also assaulted although the officer was unaware of the extent of her injuries. There was also another daughter (16) elsewhere in the house.
The officer said the woman’s son was assaulted with baseball bats.
The policeman said CCTV seized from a nearby property showed Moore, who was not masked, carrying a baseball bat towards the woman’s house.
The officer claimed Moore told police: “How could it be burglary when nothing was stolen”.
The policeman said mobile phones and clothing, similar to that seen on CCTV, was seized from Moore.
The officer said before he made a no-comment interview, Moore gave police a statement saying he had nothing to do with the incident.
The police officer said Moore was identified on CCTV by witnesses.
The officer opposed bail fearing there was a likelihood of committing further offences and interfering with witnesses who still live in the house.
The officer said CCTV showed four people. He said a 17-year-old female was also arrested.
In reply to questions from defence solicitor Connel Trainor the officer said the people in the house had balaclavas on and it was unclear who had the baseball bat inside the house.
Mr Trainor said a bail address was available in Belfast.
Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare said Moore was facing serious allegations relating to somebody not just in their own home but in their bed.
He said there was a likelihood the accused could interfere with the investigation but said he could be released to a bail address in the Woodvale area of Belfast.
Moore was released on his own bail of £500 with two sureties of a similar amount.
He will be electronically tagged with a 9pm-9am curfew and is excluded from Ballymena except for pre-agreed court, legal and medical appointments.
He is also to have no contact with the alleged injured parties or co-accused.
He is due to appear at court again in Ballymena in mid-June.