Man accused of 'brutal' murder released on bail
A man charged with murder following a "brutal, sectarian" attack which left a victim in a vegetative state for nine years has been released on bail.
Piper John McClements (24) - formerly known as Daryl Proctor - was granted bail at Londonderry Magistrates Court.
Paul McCauley, a 38-year-old Catholic, spent almost a decade in care after he was attacked by loyalists at a barbecue in the Waterside area of Londonderry in July, 2006. He died in a home last month.
District judge John Meehan said: "This is a matter of acute public concern, one of the most brutal, sectarian attacks in a long catalogue."
The accused was arrested in Londonderry's Fountain estate, where he lives, last Thursday. He appeared in the dock in a hoodie, handcuffed and flanked by a police officer. Members of his family were in the public gallery.
Police stepped up the investigation into the attack in the wake of Mr McCauley's death. The father-of-one was 29 when he attended the barbecue at Chapel Road. A gang of up to 15 people emerged from bushes and attacked him and two of his friends as they were clearing up and Paul suffered severe head injuries.
The district judge said: "There are, disturbingly and to this day, many others who were involved in the brutal circumstances leading to the death of the unfortunate victim."
A lawyer for the accused, Don Mahoney, said it was the police position that it was a direct consequence of the injuries that Mr McCauley had died.
"What it would appear now to be much more a case of in relation to him is more of a medical question and whether or not the injuries that were sustained back in 2006 were in fact the cause of death."
McClements was released on conditional bail and ordered to reside at his Fountain home, not to drink alcohol in pubs and to observe a night-time curfew. The defendant is due to reappear at Londonderry Magistrates Court on August 13.