Charity boss ‘threatened to kill Housing Executive manager’

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A charity boss accused of threatening to kill a Housing Executive manager is to be barred from all its offices across Northern Ireland, a High Court judge has ordered.

The ban was imposed on Damien Smith, 48, amid claims he told the official: “I should have done you in when I had the chance, when I followed you to your car.”

Smith, of Sloan Street in Lisburn, Co Antrim, must also stay away from the homeless charity he runs as part of bail conditions.

Lord Justice Treacy said: “This applicant himself may be vulnerable and I’m not sure whether or not that’s an appropriate role for him.”

Smith faces charges of making threats to kill and improper use of a public electronic communications network on January 16.

He allegedly directed the comments at the Housing Executive manager during a phone conversation about delays in having a new kitchen and bathroom fitted.

The court heard claims that he also told the complainant: “Me and my brother will do you in.”

According to the prosecution he made similar remarks while in custody two days later, telling a police officer: “I should have killed him three years ago.”

Defence counsel Kelly Doherty said her client accepted having a “heated” phone conversation with the manager, but denied threatening him.

“It’s not that case that the applicant sought out (the complainant), it seems a misfortunate matter that they ended up on the end of the phone to each other,” she added.

Ms Doherty revealed that her client runs ‘Feed the Souls’ a charity set up to provide aid to the homeless.

Expressing reservations about the accused’s continued role in that organisation, the judge described the alleged threat as “pretty sinister”.

However, he ruled that Smith could be granted bail on tight conditions.

The accused is to have no contact with the man he allegedly threatened and must provide a a named surety before he can be released.