Wednesday 29 January 2020

Man fully admitted murdering two friends after row flared, court told

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Alan Erwin

A 35-year-old man charged with murdering two friends found dead in a Belfast flat has "made full admissions", a court heard yesterday.

Steven McBrine allegedly killed Frances Murray (37) and Joseph Dutton (47) after a row flared between them at the apartment.

The victims' bodies were discovered at Kinnaird Close on Monday afternoon.

Mr McBrine, also of Kinnaird Close, appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with the double murder. He nodded to confirm that he understood the allegations against him.

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No bail application was made during the brief hearing.

Defence solicitor Denis Moloney described the case as a "great tragedy" involving friends who had been drinking together.

He put it to an investigating detective: "During interview the defendant... gave a full and frank account."

The detective replied: "He made full admissions to it."

Mr Moloney told the court Mr McBrine and the two deceased were friends who lived close to each other.

"The defendant knew the parties concerned, they had been out together," said Mr Moloney.

"Unfortunately a dispute has arisen and two people ended up dead. The defendant was fully co-operative with the authorities."

Remanding Mr McBrine in custody, District Judge George Conner confirmed he will appear again by video-link on January 23.

Irish Independent

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