Northern Ireland

Woman charged with perverting justice in Strickland case

Jason Weir and his father Jimmy Seales
Image caption Ian Weir and his father Jimmy Seales are charged with the murder

A woman arrested in connection with the murder of Philip Strickland near Comber last week has been charged with perverting the course of justice.

The 21-year-old is due to appear at Bangor Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Another woman and a man arrested at the same time have been released after questioning.

Jimmy Seales, 54, and his two sons, Jason Weir and Ian Hugh Weir, appeared in court on Tuesday charged with the murder.

Mr Strickland, 36, was found shot in his car off the Ballydrain Road.

Jimmy Seales, a 54-year-old farmer from the Ballykeel Road near Hillsborough, is accused of killing Mr Strickland and threatening to kill another man.

His sons, Jason Weir, 24, from Raffery Road near Killinchy, and Ian Weir, 26, from Derryboye Road, Killinchy, are also charged with murder.

All three are also accused of having a shotgun with intent to endanger life.

At the start or the hearing, the judge spoke to Newtownards Magistrates Court saying he would not tolerate any outbursts and told people to behave.

The defendants only nodded to say they understood the charge.

A detective sergeant said he believed he could connect the accused to the charge.

As the father and sons were led away there was an outburst from a man in the public gallery who shouted: "Youse are scum, cowards, big men."

The three were remanded in custody until 14 February to appear again via video link.

On Monday, a 44-year-old man appeared at Ards Magistrates' Court accused of assisting offenders over the killing, which happened on the night of 11 January.

North Lucas, of Ballycreely Road, Comber, was released on bail of £750 and ordered to surrender his passport and to stay away from any witnesses or co-accused in the case.

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