Barry McCrory shooting: Derry murder trial can continue says judge

Kieran McLaughlin Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Kieran McLaughlin denies murdering Barry McCrory at a flat in Derry in 2013

The judge in the murder trial of a 60-year-old Londonderry man has ruled that there is sufficient evidence for the case to continue.

Kieran Edward Joseph McLaughlin, from Elaghmore Park in the city, denies murdering Barry McCrory, who was shot dead at his flat in October 2013.

On Wednesday, the judge refused a defence application for a "direction" in the trial.

The case is being heard in a Diplock non-jury trial at Belfast Crown Court.

The judge said that taking all the evidence at its height, and since it was an application for a direction, and not for "abuse of process", he said: "There is a case that a properly directed jury could convict."

Mr McLaughlin also denies possessing a sawn-off, double-barrelled shotgun, shotgun cartridges, a Mauser self-pistol with intent to endanger life and possessing an imitation Walther pistol between 9 and 17 October 2013.

He has admitted having the shotgun, pistol and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

His trial has heard that following a detailed forensic examination after the shooting, a manhunt was launched for the suspect, who was later identified by police as Mr McLaughlin.

However, he was not apprehended at the time.

Specialist armed police arrested Mr McLaughlin on 16 October, after he was discovered in the driveway of a house at Fern Park.

The judge adjourned the case until Thursday.

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