17 May 2022

Riot accused refused permission to return to Creggan home

Charged with incidents on night Lyra McKee shot dead

The main evidence against two men charged in connection with the rioting on the night journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead in Derry is analysis of 24 still photos, the city's Magistrate's Court was told today.
This evidence was given as both men applied to have their bail conditions varied.
Christopher Gillen, 39, of Balbane Pass, is charged with rioting, possessing and throwing petrol bombs, hijacking and arson on April 18.
He was applying to be allowed back to his wife's address in Creggan for a matter of hours on a Sunday to facilitate family life.
A police officer said that an exclusion zone had been established by the High Court and police were opposed to any lifting of that in order to protect witnesses and prevent further offending.
Defence solicitor, Paddy MacDermott, said Gillen's, co-accused, Paul McIntyre, had been given permission to enter Creggan to see his mother for a few hours every week.
The police officer said this was done due to the mother's ill health.
Mr MacDermott said the application was to allow 'some normal family time' on a Sunday afternoon.
He said the intention would be for Gillen to straight to the address and then leave the area afterwards and not 'wander around and meet people.'
The solicitor said that it was an attempt to get the children 'some semblance of normality.'
District Judge Barney McElholm said 'there are a bunch of fascists running round Creggan threatening journalists.'
He added that he was not prepared to interfere with the High Court's ruling and refused the application.
Meanwhile, an application McIntyre to vary his bail address was granted.
The accused, 51, of Ballymagowan Park, also in the Creggan area is charged with rioting, throwing and possessing petrol bombs and arson on April 18.
The court was told McIntyre wished to reside at an address inside the exclusion zone.
Again police opposed the application on the grounds the exclusion zone had been established by the High Court.
Defence counsel, Eoghan Devlin, said McIntyre had been living with his son 'in limited circumstances.'
He said it was not a general application seeking to allow McIntyre to access the exclusion zone just to access an address.
The officer said she had a concern about the address as the person who resides there was 'vulnerable' and she wasn't sure the person was aware of what this entailed.
Mr Devlin said he felt that in this case he felt that sometime 'almost any objection will do.'
He said McIntyre was having 'housing difficulties' and that his current address was always a short term one that had been supplied to prevent him being made homeless just before Christmas.
The barrister said the evidence in the case rested on 24 still photos so there could be no question of witness intimidation.
Mr McElholm said this address seemed to be 'not very far into the exclusion zone' and he would grant it on condition McIntyre accessed the address by a specific route.
The cases against both men were adjourned until March 26 with a preliminary enquiry scheduled for April 2.

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