Case of withholding information to proceed

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A judge has ruled that the case against a man accused of withholding information about the murder of Paul McCauley should proceed.

District Judge Barney McElholm gave an indication of his decision in the case of 61-year-old Charles Buckingham last week.

However, earlier this week he gave a more detailed ruling with the businessman’s solicitors present in court.

Buckingham, with an address in Margate, Kent, is charged with witholding information about the murder of Paul McCauley and the assaults of two other men on December 16, last year.

Judge McElholm said that there was a serious assault in July 2006 which was ‘motivated by sectarian hatred’.

‘Three men were seriously injured by a larger group. One of them was so severely injured he remained in a persistent vegetative state until he died in June 2015.

‘During the course of investigation a conversation was recorded between Buckingham and one of those charged with murder.’

He said that during the course of this conversation the defendant was ‘made aware of relevant information in respect of that matter and he made no effort to forward that to police’.

The defence made an application to have the charges dismissed because the conversation took place in Scotland.

However, the judge ruled that Buckingham had ‘failed to provide’ information to a constable in Northern Ireland and as a result the offence, which was one of ‘non-comliance’, was committed here.

Judge McElholm found that the case against Buckingham should proceed.