The judge in the trial of a 60-year-old Derry man accused of “executing” Barry McCrory, has ruled that there was sufficient evidence for the non-jury Diplock case to continue.
Adjourning the case until tomorrow, Thursday (March 12, 2015), Mr Justice Horner’s ruling came as he refused a defence application for a “direction” in the case of Kieran Edward Joseph McLaughlin of Elaghmore Park, Galliagh.
Commending lawyers for their helpful and focused submissions, the Belfast Crown Court judge said that taking all the evidence at its height, and since it was an application for a direction, and not for ‘abuse of process’, he considered that “there is a case that a properly directed jury could convict”.
McLaughlin denies murdering Mr McCrory on the morning of October 10, 2013 in a block of flats in Shipquay Street where he was in bed with his partner.
He further denies possessing a sawn-off, 12 bore double barrelled shotgun, shotgun cartridges, a Mauser self-pistol and ammunition with intent to endager life and possessing a imitation Walther pistol between October 9 and October 17, 2013. However, he has admitted having the shotgun, pistol and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.
His trial has heard that following a detailed forensic examination in the wake of the shooting, a manhunt was launched for the suspect who had been identified by police as Kieran McLaughlin but he was not apprehended at the time.
In the early hours of October 16, specialist armed police arrested McLaughlin after he was discovered hiding under a vehicle parked in the driveway of a house at Fern Park.