Man appears in court after Belfast hotel 'hostage situation'

The premises was evacuated as specially trained PSNI officers responded to the incident.

A man has been remanded into custody on charges connected to an alleged hostage situation at a Belfast hotel.

Ryan John McElkerney, 31, was arrested amid claims that staff and guests in the Clayton Hotel were threatened with a suspected gun on Sunday evening.

The premises on Ormeau Avenue had to be evacuated as specially trained PSNI officers responded to the incident.

Police confirmed that a man allegedly being held hostage was released a short time later. 

It was also established that an item seized from the suspect had not been not a live gun.

McElkerney, of Serpentine Gardens in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on charges of carrying an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and criminal damage to the Clayton Hotel.

He faces further counts of common assault and false imprisonment linked to the same incident. 

Appearing remotely from the courthouse cells, McElkerney indicated that he understood the charges.

No application for bail was made during the brief hearing.

A defence solicitor said there were medical issues to be addressed before any bid to secure his client’s release.

District Judge Steven Keown remanded McElkerney in custody to appear again on June 6.

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