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Drug user ‘killed IRA man and then lied’

IRA man Francis ‘Bap’ McGreevy was murdered by self-confessed drunken drug user Thomas Valliday in a revenge attack, a court heard yesterday.

Prosecution lawyer Gary McCrudden told the jury at Belfast Crown Court that there was only one simple solution to the murder of McGreevy — Valliday brutally beat him and later lied about it.

But defence lawyer Denis Boyd posed a number of scenarios for the jury to consider, including the prospect that Valliday was totally innocent, or even if he did kill him he didn’t mean it, or was suffering from an abnormality at the time. The differing views as to the guilt or innocence of Valliday (22), from Lady Street, came as both prosecution and defence lawyers gave closing submissions.

Valliday denies murdering the veteran IRA man (51), found brutally beaten in his Ross Street flat on February 15, 2008. He died three days later in hospital.

In prosecution submissions Mr McCrudden said forensic evidence put Valliday in the flat.

He further claimed that a lying Valliday had a “selective memory, a memory of convenience” and had “invented two men” as the possible killers.

“Members of the jury you should be satisfied that Thomas Valliday killed Mr McGreevy and despite any effect the drink or drugs had on him, he intended to kill him or at the very least to cause really serious harm.

Mr Boyd told the jury that before they could return a murder verdict, “you have a long way to travel”.

“First of all you have to consider did he cause Mr McGreevy's death? The second question did he intend to kill him? And finally, the state his mind may have been in at that time.”

Earlier Mr Boyd claimed there was “a flaw, a weakness in the Crown case”, as forensic evidence on the weapons supposedly used in the attack, some of them which were abandoned afterwards, suggested that others may have been responsible for the beating.

Mr Boyd said if the jury found he had killed him, but found he could not have formed the intent to do so because of his drunken and drugged condition, then the verdict should be one of manslaughter.

He said later that if the jury found he had intended to kill, despite his condition, they could acquit him of murder and find him guilty of manslaughter because he was suffering from an abnormality of the mind at the time.

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