Sunday 25 February 2018

Man is granted bail in alleged sectarian murder of Paul McCauley

Daryl Proctor
Daryl Proctor

Donna Deeney

A man has appeared in court over the murder of Paul McCauley who died nine years after being severely beaten in a sectarian attack in Derry.

Paul McCauley, a 38-year-old Catholic, spent almost a decade in a vegetative state after he was attacked by loyalists at a barbecue in the Waterside area of Londonderry in July 2006.

He died in a care facility last month.

On the anniversary of his death, Daryl Proctor (24) was charged with his murder.

Also known as John McClements, the 24-year-old appeared at a special sitting of Derry Magistrate’s Court on Saturday.

Mr Proctor was previously convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr McCauley and served a prison sentence for this.

Paul McCauley in hospital
Paul McCauley in hospital

Mr McCauley, who was 29 at the time, was attending a summer BBQ at the rear of a house in Chapel Road celebrating his friend's new job.

A gang of up to 15 people, including Mr Proctor, emerged from nearby bushes and attacked him and two of his friends as they were clearing up after the meal in the early hours of the morning.

He sustained severe head injuries.

This is the first case of its kind in Northern Ireland where a person has been convicted of an assault and then charged with murder after the victims death.

Mr Proctor was granted bail, despite police objections, and has been banned from contacting the McCauley family or from consuming alcohol.

He will appear in court again on August 13.

Northern Irish police stepped up the investigation into the attack in the wake of Mr McCauley's death.

Paul McCauley before he was attacked
Paul McCauley before he was attacked

A new team of detectives, led by Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey, was appointed to investigate the attack after a meeting between the Chief Constable and the McCauley family.

DCI Harvey said: "After Paul's tragic death last month, the investigation has taken on a renewed impetus.

"We are following a definite line of inquiry and we are grateful to those individuals who came forward with information in the immediate aftermath of Paul's death.

"But we can never have too much information about the events of that night nine years ago if we are to get justice for Paul.

"There may be other opportunities to gather information, either because of a change in someone's circumstances or a qualm of conscience.

"This is a very challenging investigation, especially with the passing of time, but we are fully committed to exploring all avenues and opportunities and I would appeal to everyone in the community, if they have any information, come forward and contact detectives."

Belfast Telegraph

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