Man charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee has been returned for trial to the crown court

Young journalist was killed in Derry in April 2019

PSNI arrest two men in connection with Lyra McKee

The late Lyra McKee. Picture: Brendan Gallagher

The man charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee and another man charged with the rioting on the night she was shot have been returned for trial to the crown court.

Paul McIntyre, 53, of Kinnego Park, is charged with the murder of Lyra McKee, possessing a firearm with intent and belonging to a prescribed organisation.

He is further charged, along with 40-year-old Christopher Gillen, of Balbane Pass, with throwing and possessing petrol bombs, hijacking, arson and rioting on April 18, 2019.

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 had reserved his judgment and today ruled that 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 that the only basis that 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.

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