Two remanded in connection with Belfast murder

Two West Belfast men were remanded in custody today on charges connected to the death of a man on Christmas Day.

Two West Belfast men were remanded in custody today on charges connected to the death of a man on Christmas Day.

Unemployed Darren Paul and postal worker Brian Dickson were charged with assisting offenders in relation to the murder of David Cupples.

The two 20-year-olds were also charged with withholding information regarding the attempted murder of leading North Belfast Loyalist John Gregg.

The defendants attempted to obtain and dispose of video evidence in an effort to impede the arrest of the killers of Mr Cupples, Belfast magistrates heard.

Mr Cupples, from East Belfast, was assaulted in the predominantly Loyalist Cliftonpark Avenue area of North Belfast on December 22, and died of his injuries on Christmas Day.

The 25-year-old was on his way to work at Girdwood army barracks where he was employed as a civilian kitchen porter when he was attacked.

The court also heard that between December 20 and 29 the two defendants failed to give information to police about the attempted murder of Ulster Defence Association commander John Gregg.

It is understood this charge relates to the placing of a pipe bomb in the Nendrum Gardens area of Rathcoole on December 21.

A detective constable told the court that when the charges were put to the two men, they each replied “no” to both charges.

The officer said he believed he could connect the two men with the charges.

Paul, from Lyndhurstview Avenue, West Belfast, and Dickson, from Azamor Street, were remanded in custody to appear by a video link in court again on January 28.

A solicitor acting on behalf of Paul said his client may apply for bail in the High Court prior to that date.

Both defendants waved to supporters in the public gallery as they were led away from the dock.

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