Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Man accused over busker death walks free

A MAN accused of withholding information in relation to the burning of a Belfast busker walked free from Belfast Crown Court yesterday after the trial judge directed the jury to find him not guilty of the charges.

A MAN accused of withholding information in relation to the burning of a Belfast busker walked free from Belfast Crown Court yesterday after the trial judge directed the jury to find him not guilty of the charges.

William Samuel Watson, (28), from Milewater Road, New Mossley, was at a party in the Rathcoole estate in November 2000 when 51-year-old Brian Cathcart had "turps" poured over him before being set alight.

The busker was staggering around the estate when he was found by a milkman. He was taken to hospital but despite "extensive medical treatment", he died three weeks later.

Watson's friend, 25-year-old Simon McCarey from Carnreagh Bend, Rathcoole, pleaded guilty to his manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility and will be sentenced once pre-sentence and Probation reports have been completed.

Yesterday defence QC Eugene Grant said there was a "genuine risk" that if Watson had spoken to police before his arrest, he may have been "incriminating himself" for the attack.

Watson, who had been charged with with-holding information on November 8 2000, was found not guilty by direction of the judge.

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