Northern Ireland news

Lyra McKee murder accused refused bail

Paul McIntyre (52) pictured at a previous court appearance

A court has heard that evidence of a witness who told police a man charged with the murder of Lyra McKee said it was carried out by "one of our members' sons" will not be relied upon by prosecutors.

It came during a bail application at Derry Magistrate's Court by Paul McIntyre (52), of Ballymagowan Park in the city, who is accused of the April 2019 murder.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin told the court that during a High Court bail application the prosecution had claimed one of their pieces of evidence was that McIntyre's phone had been turned off for an hour and a half and when turned on he had rung a co-accused, Christopher Gillen.

He also said the prosecution had identified a woman who said McIntyre had told her "it wasn't me, it was one of our members' sons".

The accused had allegedly been challenged in this conversation about dissident republican political party Saoradh the day after Ms McKee's death.

Mr Devlin added that the main thrust of the prosecution case was that MTV footage identified someone as Person A and that was the same person identified in still photos as Person Z, namely McIntyre.

But the barrister said in papers served on the defence there was no phone report and no mention of the female witness.

Prosecution counsel David Russell objected to the bail application on the grounds that there was no real change of circumstances since the High Court case last month.

He said phone records would be served on the defence but the evidence of the woman would not be relied upon.

He added that there was risk of interference, if not directly from McIntyre then from his associates.

He said there was a risk to the state from these activities.

Mr Devlin argued that his client had been on bail charged in connection with other matters on the same night and had not infringed his bail conditions.

He also said the witnesses were mainly police officers so there was little risk of interference.

However, Deputy District Judge Stephen Keown said he believed there could be interference with witnesses and there was a risk of re-offending specific to McIntyre.

He refused bail and the defendant was remanded in custody to appear again on May 21.

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