A taxi driver filmed on a dashboard camera assaulting and threatening a passenger with a gun is an "enforcer" for loyalist drug dealers, a Belfast court has heard.

Brian Stalford, 48, of Park Avenue, Belfast, appeared in court this morning accused of possession of a pistol, assault and making threats to kill.

He was arrested after a video appeared on social media of him hitting a man with a handgun and threatening to shoot him.

Mr Stalford appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court where his solicitor told the court that the entire episode had been a joke that others had been playing along with.

The solicitor said the weapon, which has not been recovered, had been a toy and there was no attempt to intimidate anyone.

But a police officer said it was their view that this was not some kind of "TikTok foolery" that Mr Stalford was an "enforcer" for the East Belfast UVF and that the video showed him chasing down a drug debt.

He confirmed that the victim of the assault and another man in the car had both been spoken to but neither was prepared to make a statement.

The bail application was refused over the risks of reoffending and interfering with the investigation.

Mr Stalford will next appear before court via videolink on the matter on 30 June.