Northern Ireland

Strangle suspect granted High Court bail

Court

A man accused of strangling an ex-prisoner in Belfast more than 20 years ago has been released on bail.

David Mayberry Wallace, 50, from Northern Ireland is also being investigated over two other "high-profile" murders, the High Court heard.

Mr Wallace, 50, is charged with murdering Stanley Close, 64, in August 1986. He was granted bail to live at Shaw Street, Bury in Lancashire.

It is understood the other two killings happened in 2001-02 and 2005.

The identities of the victims were not released to the court in Belfast on Thursday. The cases were reopened after Mr Wallace's arrest.

Granting bail, a judge ordered Mr Wallace to lodge a £3,000 cash surety and surrender his passport.

Mr Close, who served 10 years in jail for shooting a man dead at a bar in 1971, was found dead at his home in Canton Court, east Belfast.

Wallace, who was described as leading "a transient lifestyle", was arrested by detectives in May.

The prosecution said he had been linked to Mr Close's murder through DNA evidence.

Samples which allegedly match his blood were found in Mr Close's flat, with the chances of them belonging to anyone else put at a billion to one, the High Court was told at a previous hearing.

A lawyer for Mr Wallace - who has not been charged with any other crimes - told the court that police in Manchester had carried out checks on the Bury, Lancashire address to ensure the accused lived there with his partner.

Granting bail, the judge pointed out that the seriousness of the alleged offence could not be a reason for refusing the application.

The judge also directed him to report daily to police, voluntarily co-operate with electronic tagging, and banned him from entering east Belfast.

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