Court hears double killer John Gallagher made gun gestures towards brother

DOUBLE killer John Gallagher (47) threatened his brother by making the shape of a gun with his hand and pulling the trigger, Strabane Magistrates Court has heard.

For the third week running Gallagher appeared in court charged with making threats to kill and harrassment. The charges arise out of a incident between him and his brother, Donal Joseph Gallagher, on May 13 and 14 this year.

The court heard today how, on two consecutive days, Gallagher pulled up outside his brother's place of work in Strabane and made the shape of a gun with his hand. He then pulled the trigger.

The officer investigating the case, PSNI Constable Charlotte Church, told the court that in the wake of a period of contention with his brother, Donal Gallagher was "extremely afraid" and "fears his life is in danger".

Strabane Magistrates Court also heard that CCTV taken from the inside of John Gallagher's car proved that he had been in the area of his brother's work on the days in question.

The footage however did not show the alleged gun incident.

Addressing an application for a bail variation, District Judge Paul Copeland said the principal concern was that if a condition barring Gallagher from having any contact with his brother remained, it left him open to potentially "malicious" and "mischievous" complaints that could lead to him being detained for breaching his bail.

The PSNI indicated however that should such an allegation arise, rather than arrest John Gallagher directly, they would investigate the claims fully first.

Asked by judge Copeland why Gallagher had CCTV equipment in his car at all, solicitor Oliver Roche said that ill founded complaints had been made previously, prompting his client to take out two non-molestation orders against his estranged relative.

Mr Roche said the CCTV was installed in a bid to "keep the peace" and avoid any repetition of allegations being made. The solicitor added that in the past, the men's mother had taken out a safety order in relation to her son Donal Gallagher.

Following consideration, judge Copeland said that all bail conditions would remain until the case is revisited by resident magistrate Liam McNally on June 13.