McCartney accused 'entirely innocent'

 

A man accused of murdering Robert McCartney outside a Belfast bar in January is "entirely innocent", the city's Magistrates' Court was told yesterday.

A solicitor for Terence Davidson (49) said: "There is not even the slightest suggestion that he is guilty on the matters put before him, and the evidence cannot sustain a charge of murder."

Joe McVeigh was resisting an application by the prosecution for another four-week remand in custody for Mr Davidson, from Stanfield Place, Belfast, who has denied murdering Mr McCartney, a father of two.

Mr McVeigh said Mr Davidson had been in custody for 10 weeks, and the court could assist the defence by taking shorter remands where the crown was required to give regular updates.

Suggesting a remand of one or two weeks, Mr McVeigh said the public spotlight was on the case, and it was very hard for Mr Davidson to get bail.

"There is a political context to his bail application, particularly where people are making overtures in regard to others being released," he said referring to the Shankill bomber Seán Kelly.

"There is a media circus surrounding this case and we want to keep the prosecution focused so that we will get an early date for a committal hearing."

Resident magistrate Greg McCourt said that, while he agreed there was a public spotlight on the case, that was not a good enough reason for remanding Mr Davidson other than the normal period of four weeks. Mr Davidson was remanded in continuing custody until September 9th.