Northern Ireland

Man accused of threats to Kevin McDaid murder witness

Kevin McDaid
Image caption Kevin McDaid was beaten to death in May 2009

A man has appeared in court charged with threatening to kill and intimidating a witness in the Kevin McDaid murder investigation.

He is also accused of threatening to kill another woman.

John Freeman, 21, of Tullans Park in Coleraine, is alleged to have issued the threats outside a DHSS centre in Coleraine town centre on 29 June.

A police officer said a number of witnesses to the incident had refused to make statements.

He said this was because of threat messages which had been issued between both sides of the community since the murder of Mr McDaid.

The officer told Antrim Magistrates Court the defendant and a co-accused were standing outside the DHSS building when the women walked out of the building - an encounter which was "an accidental meeting".

He said it's alleged the women crossed the road and insults were shouted.

Earlier this week, another 21-year-old man was charged over the same incident of alleged intimidation.

A district judge said it was a very serious matter to interfere with the course of public justice and deferred Mr Freeman's bail hearing until next week when the outcome of a similar application by his co-accused is heard in the High Court in Belfast.

Mr McDaid, a Catholic community worker, was beaten to death in a sectarian attack in the town in May 2009.

On Tuesday, in a separate hearing, a court heard there are 37 suspects for his murder.

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