Man to stand trial accused of the murder of Lyra McKee

The man charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee has been returned for trial to the crown court.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 11:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 11:58 am
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A second man, accused of rioting on the night Ms McKee was shot is also to stand trial.

Paul McIntyre (53) of Kinnego Park, is charged with the murder of Lyra McKee, possessing a firearm with intent and belonging to a prescribed organisation.

He is further charged, along with 40-year-old Christopher Gillen, of Balbane Pass, with throwing and possessing petrol bombs, hijacking, arson and rioting on April 18, last year.

Both men had contested the evidence against them during a preliminary inquiry.

During the proceedings, the court heard evidence about photographs and police witnesses gave evidence about identifying both men.

Video footage was also shown to the court, some of which was taken from an MTV programme being filmed at the time.

District Judge Ted Magill had reserved his judgment last month following completion of the evidence.

Today, he ruled that defence objections to the photographic evidence are matters that should be left to the trial.

He referred to defence objections to the identification evidence from two police officers and said at the very least there had been ‘departure from best practice’.

However, the judge said he believed these objections should also be a matter for the trial.

The judge said that no prospect of a jury conviction would be the only basis for a defendant not to be returned for trial.

Judge Magill said that basis did not pertain in this case.

McIntyre and Gillen were returned for trial at the crown court for arraignment on a date to be fixed.

Both defendants were released on continuing bail.