Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Attack suspect’s ban from Northern Ireland is lifted

A High Court judge has lifted a ban on a murder suspect entering Northern Ireland due to the length of time in getting the case to trial.

Francis McCormick had been ordered to stay in England while on charges connected to the death of Trevor Spiers outside a nightclub in Portstewart, Co Londonderry.

Mr Spiers (28) died after being allegedly attacked during a night out in the coastal town in December 2009.

Mr McCormick (32), of Cappaghmore Manor, Portstewart, is accused of his murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray.

He has spent the last year on bail |living in Manchester amid claims |by the prosecution that witnesses |were frightened to make statements |to detectives.

A Crown lawyer yesterday opposed his latest application to be allowed back into Northern Ireland.

But defence barrister Francis Rafferty argued that there had been |excessive delay in the case, and |claimed that any trial could be |another year away.

Mr Rafferty also submitted: “The allegation made against this applicant was that he kicked and stamped |and jumped on the head of the |deceased repeatedly.

“Notwithstanding the allegations are denied, not one witness has been in a position to attribute those actions to the applicant.”

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