Northern Ireland news

Third man charged in connection with the death of Padraig Fox

Murder victim Padraig Fox

The cousin of an alleged killer has appeared in court accused of lying to police.

Standing in the dock of Downpatrick Magistrates Court, 20-year-old Nathan Rice confirmed that he understood the two charges against him.

Rice, from Bernagh Green in Newcastle, is accused of burglary of the Slieve Donard Hotel where he allegedly stole three bottles of alcohol and perverting the course of justice in that he allegedly made a statement to police knowing it was false with both offences allegedly committed on December 8.

He is the third man to appear in court charged in relation to the death of Padraig Fox last weekend.

Nathan Rice 

On Wednesday at Newtownards Magistrates Court, his cousin 21-year-old Donach Rice appeared accused of murder and jointly charged with Paul Patrick Magennis (26) on charges of perverting justice by faking knife wounds to “give the false impression” of self defence, burglary of the Slieve Donard Hotel and attempted robbery of cash.

Donach Rice is also accused of fraud by false representation by allegedly trying to cash in a winning betting slip.

That court heard how Donach Rice, from the Kilkeel Road in Annalong had “made admissions” during police interviews.

As well as burglary, attempted robbery and lying to police Magennis, from Burrendale Park in Newcastle, is also alleged to have perverted justice by placing a knife into the hand of Mr Fox after he was killed and stealing a bicycle two days before the murder.

None of the facts surrounding the allegations were opened in court but a detective said the charges were in connection with Mr Fox’s murder at a Burrendale Park Road flat.

The body of Mr Fox (29) was found at around 1.45pm last Saturday.

It is understood Mr Fox had only moved into the block of flats a few months ago.

In court yesterday a solicitor acting for Nathan Rice conceded "It's accepted that he did make a false statement to police.”

He submitted however the defendant had "acted very foolishly out of a sense of misguided loyalty to his cousin."

Donach Rice 

District Judge Amanda Brady remanded Rice into custody to appear again on January 3 by videolink.

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