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Anthony McErlain murder: Homeless man remanded in custody charged with Ballycastle killing

Published 01/02/2016

PSNI and paramedics at the murder scene at Broombeg Park in Ballycastle
PSNI and paramedics at the murder scene at Broombeg Park in Ballycastle
Forensic experts at the murder scene in Ballycastle
PSNI and paramedics at the murder scene at Broombeg Park in Ballycastle
Police at the scene following the death of 48-year-old Anthony McErlain in Ballycastle

A 33-year-old homeless man has been remanded in custody charged with murder.

Christopher Keenan, of no fixed abode, appeared before a judge at Coleraine Magistrates' Court.

No details about the death of Anthony McErlain were given during the short hearing.

The 48-year-old's body was discovered in a house in the Broombeg View area of Ballycastle, Co Antrim, on January 28. Police have previously said he suffered a traumatic and frightening death.

Keenan, who was dressed in a light grey tracksuit and had short dark hair and stubble, stood in the dock with his hands clasped to his front, flanked by two male prison guards.

He only spoke once and replied "yeah" when asked if he understood the single murder charge levied against him.

A senior detective told Deputy District Judge John Connolly he believed he could connect the accused to the charges.

Defence solicitor Eoghan Devlin had no questions for the officer and did not make an application for bail.

However the lawyer said given the seriousness of the offence, he would be requesting legal aid for counsel as the defendant had previously been in receipt of benefits.

"This is the most serious matter," the solicitor said.

The case was adjourned until February 29 and Keenan was ordered to re-appear via videolink.

A 50-year-old man is still being questioned by detectives in connection with the death after police were granted a 24-hour extension.

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