McDaid murder trial to be held in Coleraine

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THE trial of 12 men charged with the manslaughter of Kevin McDaid is scheduled to take place in the home town of the victim and the accused.

A Preliminary Enquiry is due to take place next month into the case of the May 2009 death of Mr McDaid, a Catholic father-of-four from the Heights area of Coleraine.

Ballymena Magistrates’ Court heard applications on Thursday from two of the defendants for a variation of bail conditions.

Christopher McDowell (36) was permitted to attend the funeral of a family member that afternoon (Thursday).

But 53-year-old Paul Newman will have to wait until this week to find out if he will be allowed to travel on three roads in Coleraine.

The court was told Mr Newman is a self-employed taxi driver and the ban was affecting his livelihood.

After hearing that one of the roads was on the “fringes” of the Heights area where the fatal attack took place the judge said he needed to look at a map before making a decision.

Prosecution lawyers opposed relaxing Mr Newman’s bail conditions.

Seven men had originally been charged with Mr McDaid’s murder but the charge was reduced to manslaughter.

Five other accused had originally faced lesser charges including the attempted murder of Mr McDaid’s friend Damian Fleming, affray and assault.

The 12 defendants are now being prosecuted for charges ranging from manslaughter and attempted murder to affray.

The accused are David Craig Cochrane (21), Windy Hall Park; Frank Simpson Daly (50), Rosemary Place; Christopher McDowell (36), Glebe Avenue; John McGrath (52), Hawthorne Place; Paul Andrew Newman (43), Grassmere Close; John Thompson (32), Daneshill Road; James McAfee, Lisnablagh Road; Aaron Beech (26), Windy Hall Park; Ivan Beattie McDowell (45), Lisnablagh Road; Phillip Kane, Brook Street; David James John Cochrane (50), Windy Hall Park and Rodney Gardner (42), Knocklynn Grange. All are from Coleraine.