| 4.7°C Dublin

Man accused of Lyra murder 'picked up the bullet casings'

Close

Paul McIntyre arrives at Londonderry Magistrates' Court where he is appearing charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in April 2019. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday February 13, 2020. Ms McKee died in April 2019 when she was hit by a bullet fired towards officers by a masked gunman whilst she stood near a police vehicle. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 13, 2020. See PA story ULSTER McKee. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Paul McIntyre arrives at Londonderry Magistrates' Court where he is appearing charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in April 2019. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday February 13, 2020. Ms McKee died in April 2019 when she was hit by a bullet fired towards officers by a masked gunman whilst she stood near a police vehicle. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 13, 2020. See PA story ULSTER McKee. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Paul McIntyre arrives at Londonderry Magistrates' Court where he is appearing charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in April 2019. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday February 13, 2020. Ms McKee died in April 2019 when she was hit by a bullet fired towards officers by a masked gunman whilst she stood near a police vehicle. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 13, 2020. See PA story ULSTER McKee. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A man charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee is accused of picking up casings from the bullets used to kill her, a court was told yesterday.

There were scuffles outside Derry Magistrates' Court between police and supporters of Paul McIntyre (52), who was remanded in custody following the hearing.

Close

Victim: Lyra McKee was shot during a riot in Derry last year. Photo: Chiho Tang/Oranga Creative/PA Wire

Victim: Lyra McKee was shot during a riot in Derry last year. Photo: Chiho Tang/Oranga Creative/PA Wire

PA

The court was told McIntyre denied any involvement in the murder, and had made more than 50 denials during police interviews.

Ms McKee (29) was shot dead while observing a riot in Derry in April last year. A group styling itself the New IRA said it had carried out the killing.

During the hearing, Mr McIntyre's lawyer Derwin Harvey said: "The allegation against Mr McIntyre is that Mr McIntyre is at this riot and a male shoots the gun and that Mr McIntyre, after the gun was shot, picks up the cases."

Ms McKee was standing near a police vehicle when hit by a bullet fired by a masked gunman towards officers.

Before yesterday's hearing, Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy of the PSNI said "the quest for the evidence to bring the gunman to justice remains active and ongoing".

Mr McIntyre is also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and belonging to or professing to be a member of a proscribed organisation. His address was given as Kinnego Park, Derry.

The court heard a defence submission applying for bail, but District Judge Barney McElholm adjourned the case to obtain further information from the prosecution.

Mr Harvey said the case rests on a "snapshot" of low-quality mobile phone footage which the prosecution claims shows a man wearing clothing matching what his client was wearing earlier in the day.

A PSNI detective outlined the extent of evidence police had examined.

It included five hours of footage taken by a camera crew, mobile phone footage, and witness statements. The detective said senior legal counsel had concluded the test for prosecution had been met.

Mr McIntyre's lawyer said the crux of the case against him was an expert report comparing clothing worn by the man seen picking up the bullet casings with two clips of footage of Mr McIntyre in Derry that day.

Mr Harvey highlighted that the expert did not definitively state the person picking up the casings was Mr McIntyre, instead saying that the person was a "suitable candidate" for matching the accused's appearance.

He said two witnesses described Mr McIntyre as between 5ft 8in and 5ft 10in tall, while his client was 5ft 2in, a "massive discrepancy".

He added: "There is no clear evidence linking Mr McIntyre to this event", adding his client denied involvement in the murder more than 50 times.

The judge said his main concern was that everyone was "treated fairly" in the case.

"A young woman with her entire life ahead of her, and it was a very promising life, was murdered mindlessly and pointlessly," he said.

He remanded Mr McIntyre in custody to next appear in court on February 27.

Irish Independent