Left to die | 

Man who was tortured and dumped in Antrim field ‘offered £25k bribe to withdraw evidence’

Objecting to Glenn Sheridan being freed on bail, police told the Court this illustrate lengths drug gang will go to to get rid of anyone in their way
Police at the scene where the victim was found.

Police at the scene where the victim was found.

Belfast Telegraph

A man who was tortured, stabbed, beaten and left to die in a freezing field while “scantily clothed” was allegedly offered £25,000 to withdraw his evidence, a court heard on Tuesday.

Objecting to Glenn Sheridan being freed on bail, police told Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, the alleged bribe and the offences “illustrate the lengths this drug gang will go to” to get rid of anyone in their way.

Belfast man Sheridan is one of five defendants accused of kidnap, attempted murder and arson arising from what District Judge Nigel Broderick described as a “harrowing set of circumstances”.

The five defendants are David Coleman from Fountain Street in Ballymena; Mark Bradshaw (51) from High Street in Ballymena; David Philip Cherry (39), from Waveney Park in Belfast; Sean Davies (39, from Queens Park in Saintfield; and Glen Sheridan (43), of Florence Walk in Belfast.

Cherry and Bradshaw are also accused of possessing class C drug pregabalin, while Davies is accused of having class A drug cocaine.

Police say the man was summoned to Coleman’s house on October 11 last year. Once there, he was stabbed with a hot knife, had his jaw and skull smashed with a hatchet and was forced to use his own clothes to mop up his blood. He was then forced into the boot of a car and driven to a field outside Ballymena where he was dumped unconscious, wearing just his shoes and boxer shorts.

The court heard previously that according to the police case, the victim was summoned to Coleman’s flat under the pretence of packing cocaine to repay a debt.

At the house, however, he was forced to hand over his mobile phone and Cherry went through its contents. It is said he “provided Mr Coleman with information from the phone to suggest the victim had been hacking customers’ phones and taking customers from Mr Coleman”.

Mr Coleman then “assaulted” the victim while Sheridan stood “laughing” in the kitchen “encouraging the assault”.

Although the man was attacked on October 11, he was not able to make a statement until November 19 because he had been under sedation in ICU. However, he claimed that Coleman had “produced a knife, heating it on a gas hob, stabbing the injured party in the chest, close to his heart” before slicing his face “to the bone”.

The court also heard claims the victim was ordered to strip and “clean up his own blood” and he allegedly heard Coleman make a phone call during which he asked “where he could get rid of someone”.

While there is no forensic evidence connecting the man to Coleman’s home, police believe he changed his flooring.

It has been alleged that Sheridan was armed with a hatchet and the knife which he used to threaten the victim and forced him into the boot of a BMW car. With Cherry behind the wheel, they drove the man to the field where Sheridan allegedly used the back end of the hatchet to smash his head and shatter his jaw.

At around 8am, a passing bin lorry spotted the victim. Doctors said the man, who was only seen because of the extra height of the lorry, “was within an hour from death from possible hypothermia or blood loss due to the injuries”.

In court on Tuesday, defence counsel Aaron Thompson conceded the charges amounted to “brutal allegations” but that the gravity of the offences was not a bar to bail being granted.

He highlighted that Sheridan has not been in court for anything for 15 years and with the police investigation completed and the file shared with the PPS, the chances of witness interference were slim.

He suggested that Sheridan “could be tagged and completely excluded from Ballymena” in an effort to assuage police concerns, but the judge said while there has been some delay in progressing the case, “it’s not to the extent that the court should revisit bail”.

Remanding Sheridan into custody and adjourning the case to August 18, District Judge Broderick said he still felt there was a risk of further offences and witness interference.

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