Northern Ireland news

Man charged with Derry rioting showed 'disregard for PSNI', court told

Paul McIntyre after an earlier court hearing. Niall Carson/PA Wire.

A man charged in connection with rioting on the night journalist Lyra McKee was shot has had a bail application adjourned at Derry Magistrate's Court.

Paul McIntyre (51) of Ballymagowan Park, Derry, is charged with rioting, throwing petrol bombs and arson on April 18.

At a bail application, an address in Newry was put forward belonging to Stephen Murney, the National Secretary of Saoradh,where McIntyre could reside.

A police officer opposed bail.

The officers said the PSNI suspected he would not abide by any court conditions and had shown "a disregard for the PSNI."

The officer said that while there was an address in Newry McIntyre had "strong links to Creggan."

The court was told that Mr Murney had been seen outside Juniour McDaid House and also recently seen in Creggan.

The police officer said that Juniour McDaid House was "a hub of Saoradh" which was a voice for the New IRA.

He added that after police made their announcement about anonymity for witnesses, graffiti appeared stating "informers will be executed."

Defence solicitor Derwin Harvey said that McIntyre was affiliated to Saoradh and that was not a criminal offence.

Journalist Lyra McKee who was shot dead in Derry as she was covering rioting in the city

He said Saoradh was a political party and not illegal.

Mr Harvey said there was no suggestion Murney had ever offended while in Derry and said it would be "unfair" for the court to infer anything about Saoradh.

The solicitor said that the evidence in the case was "weak" and rested on footage from an MTV documentary and witness statements which said the hijacker was 5ft 10in while McIntyre was 5ft 2in.

He said it was there was "no capability to interfere with the MTV footage and no desire to interfere with the witnesses" who exonerated his client.

Mr Harvey said that a "substantial bail package" could be put in place.

As regards evidence of a bracelet McIntyre was alleged to be wearing that morning and then during the rioting Mr Harvey said all that could be seen was "a sparkle" on his wrist.

District Judge Barney McElholm asked could the bracelet be clearly seen and was told it wasn't.

Mr Harvey said that there had been no attempt to hide the bracelet and in fact McIntyre had been wearing it when he was arrested.

Judge McElholm asked why McIntyre had not given an explanation when asked about the bracelet and Mr Harvey said that adverse inference could be taken at trial over the defendant's refusal to answer but not at this stage.

Judge McElholm said the defendant has "a devotion to an ideology" and added he did not trust anyone who "slavishly is devoted to an ideology."

He said there were good and bad points about the proposed address.

It was good that it was "as far away from here as is possible" but the bad point it was near the border.

The bail application was adjourned until May 30 and the applicant was remanded in custody until then.

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