A Belfast man accused of murdering veteran republican Francis ‘Bap’ McGreevy initially told police it was the father of two who attacked him first.
In the first of 15 interviews read to Belfast Crown Court yesterday, Thomas Valliday, who gave police his address as Lady Street, maintained that he was only acting “in self-defence”.
A detective said that while taking samples from Valliday he showed him injuries to his legs, telling the policeman: “I only hit that fellow twice. It was self-defence, look what he done to me.”
Later Valliday agreed with the detective that when he gave himself up to the police he said in front of his father and uncle: “It was self-defence, he hit me first.”
He then claimed Mr McGreevy “came at me with a baseball bat, he came out like he always does... he hit me and I hit him and then I legged it”.
Time and again when questioned about the attack two days earlier on March 15, 2008, Valliday maintained that it was 51-year-old Mr McGreevy who first struck at him as he was passing his Ross Street home.
He also claimed that the veteran republican attempted at one stage to pull him into his ground floor flat.
Earlier forensic scientist Peter Barker told the court of examining Mr McGreevy's bloodstained flat and finding three possible weapons which could have been used in the attack on him, a pick-axe handle and two broken brush shafts, one metal, one wooden.
Mr Barker, a bloodstains expert, also revealed that not only had he recovered Mr McGreevy's DNA from various blood samples in the flat, he also recovered Valliday's DNA.