Page last updated at 09:19 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Judge condemns 'gangster' gunmen

Bishop Street courthouse

Those responsible for so-called punishment shooting are "a crowd of gangsters", a judge has said.

Barney McElholm made the comments during a bail application at Londonderry Magistrates Court.

Gerald Patrick Lavy, 24, from Ardgrange in Derry, is accused of involvement in a robbery in Bridgend in August.

The court heard Mr Lavy was released on bail in October, but handed himself in days later because of "the perceived threat from various organisations".

The 24-year-old is charged with handling two cars, jewellery, and three car keys stolen from a pensioner's house.

He is also charged with supplying and possessing cannabis, and with motoring offences including driving whilst disqualified.

Defence solicitor Kevin Casey said the previous bail address was "one that would have been well known to these people, in an area where they are particularly active and would have easy access to him".

Mr Lavy was released on his own bail of £1,000.

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