Man in court over pensioner's attempted murder

Warning: Graphic images of Joyce McCabe's injuries are contained in this report

A 44-year-old man has appeared in court charged with attempting to murder a woman in County Down.

Joyce McCabe, 65, was struck on her head and back with shotgun pellets after they were fired through the window of her home at Brae Grove, Ballygowan, just after 23:00 BST on Saturday.

Wayne Smyth, 44, from Eglantine Crescent in Lisburn, appeared at Newtownards Magistrates' Court this morning accused of attempting to murder the pensioner.

He was also accused of having a firearm with intent to endanger life and criminal damage.

Bungalow with wooden boards on window
The incident happened in Brae Grove in Ballygowan [Pacemaker Press]

Speaking outside court, Mrs McCabe's son William said she still had to return to hospital to have some pellets removed from her body.

His wife Nadine was the first family member at the scene.

"I was trying to hold back the tears," she said.

"The scene with police everywhere and windows smashed and I wasn’t able to see her until I got into the back of the ambulance. It was unbelievable."

Mr Smyth appeared in court wearing handcuffs during the brief hearing and he was just feet away from relatives and friends of Ms McCabe.

There was no application for bail and Wayne Smyth was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on 17 July.

There was a strong police presence inside the courtroom and around the court during the hearing.