Pair on Lyra riot charge denied bail
Men refuse to recognise court hearing
TWO men charged with rioting on the night Lyra McKee was killed have been refused bail.
Paul McIntyre, 51, and 38-year-old Christopher Gillen faced a number of charges and refused to recognise the court yesterday.
The prosecution alleges both men are linked to the New IRA, which sparked rioting in the Creggan area of Derry on April 18.
The dissident republican group has since claimed responsibility for shooting the Belfast journalist, 29.
A detective told the court film seized from an MTV documentary crew links the defendants to the charges. He added: “Police believe these were the ring leaders, that’s obvious from footage.”
The PSNI said clips from MTV taken in the Saoradh office shows the accused with members of the New IRA’s political wing.
Police also claim CCTV and phone footage shows two masked men in identical clothing to the defendants exiting a hijacked tipper truck and carrying a crate of petrol bombs before throwing them at police. The officer added he had concerns McIntyre, from Ballymagowan Park, and Gillen, from Balbane Pass, both Derry, may attempt to interfere with witnesses or try to leave the country if they received bail.
Graffiti like “Informers will be executed” painted along the wall of a local community centre, and posters of rats erected on speed signs, warned locals not to help police.
Judge Barney McElholm told Derry Magistrates Court he had concerns about witnesses being prevented from coming forward.
He said: “We’re all aware of the disgraceful graffiti in Creggan that warned off anyone talking to police, whoever did that, did these two men a great disservice.
“There is no address anywhere in this city which would be suitable in this case, at any stage. I will refuse bail.”
The murder of Ms McKee has sparked a major PSNI investigation amid huge public outrage. More than 140 people have come forward with details and a £10,000 reward has been offered by Crimestoppers.
ACCUSED Paul McIntyre and Christopher Gillen
SHOT DEAD Journalist Lyra McKee