Kevin McDaid case man is arrested again after band parade
A man given a suspended prison sentence for his role in a sectarian attack in which a father-of-four died was arrested in an altercation with police just hours after leaving court.
Christopher McDowell was one of 12 men convicted in relation to the 2009 attack in Coleraine.
Catholic community worker Kevin McDaid (49) died after he was set upon outside his home in what a judge said was an alcohol-fuelled, ugly and sectarian incident. His friend Damien Fleming, who was also badly beaten, now requires constant supervision, the court was told.
Nine of the 12 men were jailed, while two – including 38-year-old McDowell – avoided an immediate custodial sentence at Laganside Crown Court on Tuesday.
He raised a fist to supporters in court and smiled as he walked from the building having received a one-year prison sentence, which was suspended for two years.
The Belfast Telegraph can reveal that hours later he was arrested by police in the Co Londonderry town. He was detained on suspicion of drink-driving, disorderly behaviour and resisting police.
The incident happened in the Circular Road area after a band parade in the town. McDowell was not charged by officers and released on his own bail.
The dairy company employee from Willow Court in Coleraine was said in court on Tuesday to have experienced mental health issues and has previous convictions for riotous assembly and disorderly behaviour.
Police made five other arrests on Tuesday evening for a range of offences. It is understood they were made in the Heights area where the 2009 attack took place.
At the time of the attack on Mr McDaid, McDowell made the case that he was in the Heights as he was concerned about family members living in the area and had gone to check on them.
As he was returning, he "became engaged with the group" who had gone there after tricolours were erected. He admitted a charge of affray.
The court was told on Tuesday that trouble flared following a match involving Rangers and Celtic when a group of up to 40 loyalists arrived in the Heights area.