The loyalist paramilitary group, the Red Hand Defenders, has claimed responsibility for the murder of a man in Belfast earlier this month.

Stephen Montgomery, from Mountainview Drive, was found unconscious with head injuries on Jamaica Road, Ardoyne, in the early hours of 13 February. He later died in hospital.

At the time, police thought the 34-year-old may have been the victim of a hit-and-run. Police say they will continue to treat this as the cause of death until the veracity of the claim is established.

The Red Hand Defenders, a cover name previously used by the Ulster Defence Association, in a phone call today to a Belfast newsroom said it was responsible for his death.

A number of people were questioned about the killing and released pending reports to the Director of Public Prosecutions.