Northern Ireland

Stephen Dempsey remanded over murder of Thomas Lockard

Mr Lockard's body was found at the side of a road in County Louth
Image caption Mr Lockard's body was found at the side of a road in County Louth

A Belfast man has appeared in court charged with the murder of 34-year-old Thomas Lockard 14 years ago.

Mr Lockard disappeared from his home on 25 April 1998. His badly beaten body was found two days later at the side of a road at Raskeagh, County Louth.

Stephen Dempsey, from Tamery Pass in east Belfast, is also accused of kidnap and false imprisonment.

The 51-year-old told the court he understood the charges. He was remanded in custody for four weeks.

The accused made a "thumbs up" gesture to a supporter in the public gallery as he was led into the dock and again as he was led away.

Mr Dempsey was one of two men arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland following a review of the murder case by the Garda Serious Crime Review Team.

The other man, aged 52, was released from police custody pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

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