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Creggan riot accused given 'benefit of doubt'

One of the men charged in connection with rioting on the night journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead appeared at Derry Magistrate's Court this week charged with breaching his bail.

Lyra McKee 2

SHOT DEAD: Lyra McKee

One of the men charged in connection with rioting on the night journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead appeared at Derry Magistrate's Court this week charged with breaching his bail.

Paul McIntyre (52). of Ballymagowan Park in the Creggan area of the city, appeared charged with breaching his bail on 7 November.

Defence solicitor Derwin Harvey said the breach was not accepted as it came down to “a judicial interpretation of bail conditions.”

A police officer told the court that McIntyre was released on bail at the High Court on charges of rioting and arson on the night the journalist was shot dead.

She said when McIntyre was released he signed a map outlining which parts of the city he could travel in.

On 7 November, a police officer spotted McIntyre driving on Queen's Quay and Foyle Street which are boundary roads of the prohibited area.

The police witness told the court he was arrested for breaching bail.Mr Harvey told the court there was a dispute over the maps and produced two different maps, one he said McIntyre had signed and another the police were saying was now applicable.

The police officer said the original map had been ammended to take account of the proposed bail address.

The solicitor told the court that it should have been made clear to McIntyre by his previous firm of solicitors the areas he was not allowed into.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that he accepted it could be confusing for an ordinary person and said that it did appear that McIntyre had been given the wrong map.He said it was the responsibility of the old firm of solicitors to make sure their client understood where he was allowed and not allowed to go.

He said in the circumstances he would give McIntyre the benefit of the doubt and find the breach not proven.He re-released him on bail on condition he does not enter large parts of the city including Creggan, the Bogside and the city centre.

He told McIntyre if he had to travel to the Waterside he was to use the Foyle Bridge and if he had appointments within the prohibited area he was to give the police 24 hours notice and adhere to any conditions the PSNI set.He will appear again on 5 December.

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