Man accused of murder of Lyra McKee returned for trial

Paul McIntyre (53) allegedly shot journalist during disturbances in Derry in April 2019

 Lyra McKee:  the 29-year-old was shot in the head during a night of rioting and petrol bombing in Derry. Photograph: Jess Lowe/AFP via Getty Images

Lyra McKee: the 29-year-old was shot in the head during a night of rioting and petrol bombing in Derry. Photograph: Jess Lowe/AFP via Getty Images

 

The man charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry has been returned for trial to the Crown Court.

Ms McKee (29) was shot in the head during a night of rioting and violence in the city in April 2019.

Paul McIntyre (53) of Kinnego Park, is charged with murder, possessing a firearm with intent and belonging to a prescribed organisation on April 18th, 2019.

He is further charged, along with Christopher Gillen (40), of Balbane Pass, with throwing and possessing petrol bombs, hijacking, arson and rioting on the same date.

Both men had appeared at a Preliminary Inquiry at which they had contested the evidence against them. During the hearing, evidence about photographs was given and police witnesses gave evidence of identifying both men. TV footage was also shown, some of it from an MTV programme being filmed at the time.

District Judge Ted Magill, who had reserved his judgment, ruled on Wednesday the objections from the defence to the photographic evidence were not something he had to rule on but 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’ but again, he believed this should be a matter for a trial.

The judge said the only basis on which a defendant should not be returned for trial would be where there was no chance a jury could convict and that did not pertain in this case.

Both men were returned for trial to the Crown Court on a date to be fixed and released on continuing bail.