Barry McCrory murder: Trial sees last movements of murder victim

Kieran McLaughlin pictured at an earlier court hearing in Derry.
Kieran McLaughlin pictured at an earlier court hearing in Derry.

The trial of Derry man today witnessed the last movements captured on CCTV of Barry McCrory just hours before he was “executed’’ in a flat he shared with his girlfriend.

Kieran Edward Joseph McLaughlin (60), of Elaghmore Park, Galliagh, denies the murdering Mr McCrory and also 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 pleaded guilty to possessing the firearms and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

The prosection claim McLaughlin shot dead Mr McCrory as he slept in his bed on October 10, 2013, firing four rounds from the shotgun into his torso and head.

Trial Judge Mr Justice Horner, sitting alone without a jury in the Diplock case, watched CCTV footage from a camera in Shipquay Street in the city on October 9, 2013.

The film showed Mr McCrory returning to the block of flat accompanied by his girlfriend of five weeks Elizabeth Timoney around 10.45 pm.

After gaining entry to the building, the couple are seen on internal cameras climbing several flights of stairs before reaching Ms Timoney’s flat on the third floor.

It also showed Mr McCrory, who was carrying a number of plastic carrier bags, pausing momentarily at the top of the stairs and looking towards the stairwell for several seconds.

He then followed his girlfriend into flat before the door closes shut.

Around an hour later at 23.53 pm, the CCTV footage shows a male figure appearing at the front door of the flat complex trying to gain entry to the same building through the intercom system. After around one minute of trying to get in, the male then walked away from the door and is seen heading down Shipquay Street.

In a hushed courtroom, the judge also watched the footage from the following morning at 10.30 am when a man wearing a beany hat, scarf and ‘goggles’ and carrying a rucksack, appeared at the front door of the complex and after waiting for several minutes, finally gained access to the flats.

He is then seen climbing several flights of stairs before finally arriving at Ms Timoney’s flat. The man momentarily steps out of camera shot and re-appears wearing a pair of black gloves.

Clutching the rucksack in one hand, the man then knocks on the door once, pauses, and then knocked a further seven times before Ms Timoney opens the door.

She told the court on the second day of the trial last week that the male put his hand over her mouth and a second hand on her should and marched her backwards into the living room, and told her ‘Don’t speak’.

Ms Timoney said he ordered her to lie on the floor and then asked: ‘Where’s McCrory?’ She said she replied: ‘He’s asleep’.

She added: “Nothing more was said. Then I heard the sound of metal clicking which came from behind me while I was on the floor. I heard him shouting ‘drug dealing scumbag’. That was said just once. Nothing else was said.

“Then I heard a shot, it was a like a boom. I wouldn’t describe it anything other than ‘Boom’. A couple of seconds later there was another ‘boom’ , and then there was a third and fourth ‘boom’. I heard nothing else after that.’’

Today, Mr Justice Horner also watched two separate pieces of CCTV footage of McLaughlin shopping in the Lidl store on Derry’s Buncrana Road in September and October 2013 where the prosecution claim he bought the rucksack which he used to carry the shotgun to the flat to ‘execute’ Mr McCrory.

Prosecution counsel Ciaran Murphy QC told the trial judge: “That now concludes the prosecution case.’’

The trial continues.