Northern Ireland

Woman 'thought her father, Eamon Hughes, had been shot'

Belfast Crown Court
Image caption The no-jury trial is being held at Belfast Crown Court

A woman whose father was murdered after her 18th birthday party wept in court as she testified how she initially believed her father had been shot.

Siobhann Hughes told the no-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court it was only later she was told her father Eamon had been stabbed in the chest and had died.

Four men deny murdering Mr Hughes in September 2008.

All four also deny attempting to murder two women who were ran over as they tended to the victim.

The accused are Dungannon men Martin Murray, 23, from Windmill Drive, his cousin Liam Murray, 24, from Windmill Court, 24-year-old Kevin Toye from Windmill Court and 25-year-old William McDonagh from Kew Gardens in Ballymena.

Kevin Murray, 41, from Lisnahull Gardens, also Dungannon and who is an uncle to the other two Murrays, denies attempting to murder Mr Hughes' son Kevin who he is alleged to have shot with a crossbow.

According to the Crown case, Martin Murray stabbed Mr Hughes in the chest and Mr Toye was the driver of the hijacked taxi which ran over mother and daughter Martina and Emma Donaghy.

Knife

On Wednesday, Siobhann Hughes said that as the group of family and friends walked back to the Hughes family home in the Lisnahull estate, she saw Martin Murray standing at the front of a taxi, "threatening people" with a knife.

She told prosecuting lawyer Fiona O'Kane she had known him "for years" from around the local area.

Ms Hughes said she could "just remember screaming at this point" and was in shock at seeing a knife being wielded.

"I just remember standing there with my friend screaming and I walked down the road and seen my daddy," she told the court adding that she was standing at the passenger side of a taxi when the taxi which ran over Martina and Emma Donaghy came back.

She told the lawyer: "I remember somebody shouting 'here they come again' and I got down on my knees and put my head down - I thought that they were coming to shoot somebody again."

Ms Hughes added that as she was ducked down behind the taxi, she heard a bang and assumed that someone had been shot.

Under cross examination from Martin Murray's defence QC Brendan Kelly, it was put to Ms Hughes that before she gave her statement to police, she had spoken to her brother Kevin about what had happened and those allegedly involved.

When asked by Mr Kelly if she knew her brother was blaming the Murrays for what had happened, she replied: "I don't know".

She added: "It was Boo Boo (Martin) Murray that I had seen with the knife."

The trial continues.