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bail denied Man charged with Robbie Lawlor's murder refused 'compassionate bail' to see newborn child

Adrian Holland (37) mounted a fresh bid for temporary release to visit his child after a first application was denied earlier this month.

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Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

A man charged with the murder of gangster Robbie Lawlor failed today in a new bid to be released from custody to see his newborn child.

Adrian Holland (37) was refused compassionate bail amid continued prosecution concerns that he could attempt to flee.

Lawlor was gunned down outside Holland's home at Etna Drive in Ardoyne, north Belfast on April 4 last year.

According to police a gunman emerged from the property and opened fire in broad daylight, shooting the 36-year-old underworld figure in the head and body.

Originally from Dublin, Lawlor had been heavily involved in a bitter dispute between rival Drogheda-based factions.

Previous courts were told he may have travelled to Northern Ireland because he feared he was going to be attacked as part of a deadly drugs feud.

But his assassination had already been commissioned three weeks earlier at a meeting in a Sligo hotel attended by an international drugs dealer, it has been alleged.

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Adrian Holland

Adrian Holland

Adrian Holland

Neither Holland nor 45-year-old co-defendant Patrick Teer, of Thornberry Hill in Belfast, are accused of being the gunman.

Instead, they have been charged as part of a joint enterprise to murder, based on their alleged involvement in events surrounding the shooting.

Holland mounted a fresh bid for temporary release to visit his child after a first application was denied earlier this month.

Defence barrister Joe Brolly told Belfast Magistrates' Court his client only wanted out of custody for up to six hours, with a solicitor prepared to act as chaperone.

He argued that in a separate case Holland previously complied with bail conditions, signing at a police station 126 times over a two year period.

"As soon as he was charged (with murder), all of a sudden he was going to create a new identity for himself, use a criminal network, go to Colombia, all of this stuff," Mr Brolly submitted.

"There has been in this case a retreat from reality."

With two other people suspected of involvement in the killing said to have left the island of Ireland, prosecution counsel said co-accused Teer has also been refused bail due to the risk of flight.

Ruling on the case, District Judge Steven Keown rejected defence claims that an error was made in a previous High Court determination.

He confirmed: "I refuse this application on the basis there is no change in circumstances."

Holland was remanded in continuing custody until April 9.

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