Northern Ireland

Justin McDonald refused bail over 'racist attack' on migrant family

A migrant worker was beaten by two men who threatened to kidnap and burn his family in a racist attack in County Tyrone, Belfast High Court has heard.

The alleged victim, from East Timor, claims he was set upon as he walked home after his shift at a poultry factory in Dungannon on 30 June.

The details emerged during a bail application by one of the accused.

Justin McDonald, 32, from Dunavon Park in Dungannon, denies the offences but the judge refused to grant him bail.

Mr McDonald faces charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threats to kill, criminal damage to a window and threats to damage property endangering life.

'Racially inflammatory'

During the bail application, it was claimed that he and another man inflicted head injuries to the migrant worker with their belts.

The court was also told an attempt was made to put a belt around the alleged victim's neck before he escaped.

Kate McKay, prosecuting, said a large rock thrown at him missed but smashed a window at his house.

She said the two men allegedly shouted threats that everyone inside would be burned and the victim's children kidnapped.

Mr McDonald uttered "racially inflammatory" remarks following his arrest, the court heard.

Details of an alleged attempt to intimidate witnesses were also outlined.

Forensic tests

Defence barrister Noel Dillon confirmed his client denies hitting the alleged victim with a belt.

He disputed the prosecution claims of a racial element and pointed out that forensic tests have not yielded any match with the accused.

However, Mr Justice Treacy refused bail due to fears of possible witness intimidation.