Man found in Carrickfergus reservoir 'suffered barbaric injuries'

A man whose body was discovered in a reservoir in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, suffered "barbaric injuries", a court has been told.

The body of Roy Reynolds, 54, was found by a member of the public in shallow water at Woodburn Reservoir on Monday morning.

Two men appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Friday charged in connection with his murder.

They were both refused bail and remanded in custody.

Michael Campbell, 32, of East Way, Newtownabbey faces one charge of murder. He is accused of murdering Mr Reynolds between March 27 and 28.

He responded, "I do", when asked if he understood the charge.

Robert Mervyn Fulton, 68, of Belfast Road, Ballyclare is charged with assisting an offender in terms of the disposal of the body.

He replied "yes" when asked if he understood the charge.

A detective sergeant said she believed she could connect the two with the respective charges.

Outlining the facts of the case, she described how police received a report at 5.50am on Monday of a body being dragged from a house at Derrycoole Way in Rathcoole to a car.

The vehicle described was located nearby being driven by Fulton with Campbell in the front passenger seat.

It was described as containing blood on the bumper and inside the boot.

Campbell was also described as having a blood stained T-shirt and face. He told police he had had a fight with his brother.

The court heard that after some questioning, Fulton indicated to police there had been a third man, that he wasn't sure if he was alive or dead, and had been left at a dam in Carrickfergus.

A search of Mr Reynolds' flat revealed "clear signs of a disturbance", and "quite a lot of blood".

Meanwhile Mr Reynolds' body was discovered by a member of the public, placed in shallow water in the reservoir.

The detective sergeant said he was identified by his finger prints.

She said a post mortem examination did not confirm a cause of death, but found that substantial brutal injuries had been sustained.

"This man suffered a brutal sustained attack, barbaric injuries," she told the court, adding police would have grave concerns around bail.

A lawyer acting for Campbell described a "tragic situation" and said his client asked him to express on his behalf "total remorse for the incident that occurred between himself and the deceased".

He described his client and Reynolds and their families as having been known each other.

The lawyer said both had been drinking, had had an argument and Mr Reynolds attacked him, adding Campbell had acted in self defence.

He suggested Campbell is a suitable candidate for bail which could be managed with tagging and curfews.

A lawyer acting for Fulton described his client as a disabled person, and said he told police throughout interviews that he was in fear of Campbell.

The court earlier heard that Fulton had been in a relationship with Campbell's mother, and remains "infatuated" with her.

The lawyer said his client's home had been signed into Mrs Campbell's name, adding her sons stay there occasionally, adding his client is "stuck with these monsters round him".

He added Fulton lives in "terror of Mr Campbell", and told police "if I didn't do what he told me, I'd be next".

"This is a man who shuffles when he walks, this is a man who has difficulty speaking, this is a man who lives in terror of Mr Campbell," he said.

Police objected to bail for both on the basis of risk of flight and potential interference with witnesses. A detective sergeant said there remains a large number of people to speak to, adding people are in fear of speaking out about it.

District Judge Mark McGarrity refused bail for Campbell, and said while he accepted Fulton's case is different but said his role in the cover up is serious, and also refused bail for him.

Legal aid was granted and the next hearing of the case is set for April 29.