28/05/2009

Coleraine Murder Accused In Court

Nine men have appeared in court charged in connection with the murder of Coleraine father-of-four Kevin McDaid, and the attempted murder of Damien Fleming at the weekend.

The accused arrived at Ballymena Magistrates Court amid tight security, both inside and outside the building

Mr McDaid, a Catholic, died after a receiving a brutal sectarian beating close to his Somerset Drive home on Sunday.

Mr Fleming, now being treated in a Belfast hospital, remains in a critical condition.

Six men were today charged with murder and attempted murder, two others with attempted murder and another man with affray.
  • David Craig Cochrane, 18, of Windyhall Park, was charged with murder and attempted murder;
  • His father David James John Cochrane, 47, faces a charge of affray;
  • Ivan Beattie McDowell, 42, of Lisnablagh Road was charged with attempted murder;
  • John Thompson, 29, of Daneshill Road was charged with murder, attempted murder and assault;
  • Frank Simpson Daly, 48, of Rosemary Place was charged with murder, attempted murder and assaulting Evelyn McDaid and Leona Whittaker;
  • Christopher McDowell, 33, of Glebe Avenue was charged with murder and attempted murder;
  • Aaron Thomas Beech, 23, of Windyhall Park was charged with attempted murder and assault;
  • Paul Andrew Newman, 40, of Grassmere Close was charged with murder and attempted murder;
  • John McGrath, 50, of Hawthorne Place was charged with murder, attempted murder and assaulting Evelyn McDaid.
The men, who deny the charges, have all been remanded in custody.

A 31-year-old man was earlier released on bail pending further inquiries.
News Image
The McDaid family were in court to hear the charges, remaining under heavy police guard.

More than a dozen armed officers also ring-fenced loyalist supporters who filed into the public gallery.

District Judge Philip Mateer told anyone intent on causing trouble that they would be ejected and dealt with but there was no disturbances during the 30 minute hearing.

Meanwhile, a loyalist band parade, due to take place in the area close to the attack tomorrow, has also been scaled-back.

Officials representing the Pride of the Bann flute band decided to reroute past the Bann Bridge, a move welcomed by local clergy.

Father Charles Keeney said: "I'm delighted that they've taken that decision - we all have to be sensitive to the feelings of people that have been bereaved and who are saddened in such a way."

However, the Parades Commission had said their was "no question" that the previously planned demonstration would have went ahead in the original fomat.

"I think it was probably inevitable something had to be done about the parade, because there was no question I think of the parade going the way in which it had originally been filed for," said the Commission's Roger Poole.

The band suggested there is no rational connections between itself and the recent violence.

Adding the re-routing was "an appropriate gesture and one which we hope will be taken as a sincere attempt to ease any community tensions".

Investigators from the Police Ombudsman's office are still assessing the police response to the incident, and claims that officers did not intervene early enough.

See: Rethink Loyalist Parade, Says Bishop

(PR/JM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 January 2016
Four Injured In North Belfast Attack
Police have held two men on suspicion of attempted murder following an attack in north Belfast. The incident occurred in the Woodvale Drive area on Sunday morning. The suspects, aged 26 and 32, were arrested after being treated in hospital for their injuries.
04 November 2014
Arrest Over Attempted Murder
Police have arrested a 25-year-old man in on suspicion of attempted murder following an incident on the Limestone Road in north Belfast on Friday night. A 25-year-old man was taken to hospital for treatment for injuries sustained during the attack, in which a number of people are believed to have been involved.
11 June 2014
Man Arrested Over East Belfast Stabbing
A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the stabbing of a 66-year-old man in east Belfast on Tuesday afternoon. The attack occurred at Wolsey's tackle shop on the Upper Newtownards Road at about 15:30.
23 May 2014
Man Charged With Attempted Murder Following Crossbow Attack
A man has been charged with attempted murder following a crossbow attack in south Belfast on Wednesday evening. A 29-year-old man was shot with a crossbow while he was in a parked car in the Belgravia Avenue area. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening. A woman was also in the car at the time of the attack but was not injured.
11 August 2011
Shot Man's Wounds 'Not Life Threatening'
A 35-year-old man has been shot twice in the leg inside a house in Twinbrook on the outskirts of Belfast. A young girl and a woman were in the house in the Summerhill Drive area when the attack happened on Wednesday night. However, it is not believed that the man's injuries are life threatening.