Belfast Telegraph

Bedroom murder of Barry McCrory: Judgment reserved

By Michael Donnelly

Judgment in the trial of the man accused of "executing" Barry McCrory has been reserved by a trial judge following final oral submissions in the non-jury Diplock case.

Mr Justice Horner said he hoped to give his decision in the trial of 60-year-old Londonderry man Kieran Edward Joseph McLaughlin "as soon as possible".

McLaughlin of Elaghmore Park, Galliagh, who declined to give evidence or call any witnesses on his own behalf, denies murdering Mr McCrory on the morning of October 10, 2013 in a block of flats in Shipquay Street where he was in bed with his partner.

He further denies possessing a sawn-off, 12-bore double-barrelled shotgun, cartridges, a Mauser pistol and ammunition with intent, and possessing a imitation Walther pistol between October 9 and 17, 2013. However, he has admitted having the firearms and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

In yesterday's closing submissions at Belfast Crown Court, the prosecution claimed there was a "multiple strand circumstantial case" against McLaughlin which "cries out for explanation".

But McLaughlin had no credible answer capable of standing up to scrutiny, and his refusal to give evidence "is a pointer to his guilt", the prosecutors said.

Mr Ciaran Murphy QC, for the prosecution, said one telling piece of evidence could be found in McLaughlin's interviews which "reverberated in a particular way", in which he talked of Mr McCrory's partner not being in the flat. The lawyer suggested that this was "an inadvertent confession to being in the flat at the time of the murder".

McLaughlin, he added, also accepted he had a "familiarity with firearms... a characteristic of the gunman and the way he executed this murder".

"He has a lot of questions to answer, and he has decided not to do so," said Mr Murphy.

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