Northern Ireland news

Lyra McKee murder accused Paul McIntyre bailed

Paul McIntyre pictured at Derry Magistrates' Court on February 15. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Michael McHugh, PA

A man accused of murdering journalist Lyra McKee has been granted bail.

The 29-year-old was shot dead by dissident republicans while observing a riot in Derry in April last year.

An extremist group styling itself as the New IRA said it carried out the killing.

Paul McIntyre (52) appeared before a district judge in Derry via video link from prison.

Judge Barney McElholm said: "Society is demanding justice for Lyra McKee. But justice is no good if one-sided, biased or not seen to be unscrupulously honest."

He said that as early as the 1970s, he had decided to do his bit to support the rule of law.

"I will grant Mr McIntyre bail," he added.

Police believe the man accused of murdering the journalist was the same height as someone seen picking up casings from bullets used to kill her, a detective told the court.

But McIntyre's defence cast doubt on the credibility of an expert witness and the matching of photos of him with images from the night.

The solicitor said the issues were "insurmountable".

Ms McKee was standing near a police vehicle when she was shot dead by dissident republicans while observing a riot in Derry in April last year. The New IRA said it carried out the killing.

An officer told Mr McElholm a mapping expert had visited the scene to confirm that a person photographed there was the same height as McIntyre.

McIntyre is also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and belonging to or professing to be a member of a proscribed organisation.

His address was given in court as Kinnego Park in Derry.

Dressed in a red jumper, he sat throughout the hearing.

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