'£5,000 blackmail' accused has bail refused at court in Ballymena

'£5,000 blackmail' accused has bail refused at court in Ballymena

A MAN accused of blackmailing a man in County Antrim who was allegedly told he would be shot if he did not hand over £5,000, has failed in a bid to get bail.

Jonathan Robert Sterling (35), of Ballygomartin Road, and Stephen McLaughlin (39), of Heather Street - both Belfast - are charged with 'blackmail' by allegedly making 'an unwarranted demand of £5,000 with menaces' on November 24 last year.

A previous court heard the incident was allegedly linked to the 'west Belfast UDA'.

Sterling has now obtained High Court bail, Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, was told.

McLaughlin made a bail application at the court in Ballymena but it was refused. He was remanded in continuing custody and it was adjourned to February 22.