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Man accused of Paul McCauley killing bailed, as court hears his life is under threat

By Donna Deeney

Published 09/04/2016

Paul McCauley
Paul McCauley
Paul McCauley in hospital after the attack

The mob assault that led to the death of civil servant Paul McCauley was "an unsanctioned UDA attack", a Londonderry magistrate was told as a 28-year-old man appeared, charged with his murder.

Matthew Brian Gillen, of Kennedy Place in Derry, was also charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm and attempted grievous bodily harm on the two men who were with Mr McCauley at a barbecue at a house in Chapel Road in the Waterside area of the city in July 2006.

Mr McCauley (38) died at a nursing home in June last year from the injuries inflicted on him. The father-of-one had been in a permanent vegetative state since the attack.

A PSNI detective told the court that police believed the accused still has links with loyalist paramilitaries, or at least was a supporter of them. He explained that in 2006 the attack had been treated as sectarian and, according to the International Monitoring Commission, was an unsanctioned UDA attack.

He said he believed Gillen could be connected to the charges. The accused stood impassively in the dock and said "yep" when asked if he understood the charges.

A police detective asked that Gillen be remanded in custody, as he believed the accused was a flight risk because he worked for an international demolition company that took him to locations all over the UK. The detective believed Gillen might also contact witnesses or attempt to contact them. He added there was concern for the defendant's safety as police recently became aware of death threats against him from a paramilitary organisation.

Defence barrister Sean Doherty argued that Gillen was first questioned in 2006, and again in December 2015, and at no time had tried to contact possible witnesses.

He said his client, who has a clear record, should be treated in 'parity' with another man, Piper McClements, who has also been charged with Mr McCauley's murder and who has been released on bail. The lawyer said that while there "is no more serious offence to be charged with" there must be "a presumption of innocence".

District Judge Barney McElhom released Gillen on bail of £2,000 on condition he surrender his passport, does not apply for another passport and resides at an address in Abbeydale in the Waterside area of Derry. He is due to return to court on April 21.

A 61-year-old man arrested on Thursday in connection with Mr McCauley's murder has been charged with withholding information. He is to appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court on May 4.

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