Belfast Telegraph

Man's DNA on bullet, court told

Suspect charged over weapon used in double murder is refused bail

A County Armagh man's DNA was allegedly detected on a misfired bullet found with the gun used to shoot dead a husband and wife, the High Court heard.

Prosecutors said the chances of the partial profile belonging to anyone other than Malcolm McKeown have been estimated at one in 750 million.

McKeown is charged with possession of a firearm with intent in connection with the double murder of Hugh and Jacqueline McGeough. The 46-year-old accused, currently of no fixed address, was refused bail due to the risk of any reoffending.

The couple were found dead at their Legahory Court home in Craigavon in March.

Mrs McGeough (44), had been shot three times and her 56-year-old husband once. It was alleged that they were involved in the drugs trade in the area.

McKeown was arrested and charged after a Colt revolver and two rounds of ammunition were discovered inside a plastic bag in Waringstown on July 25.

Forensic tests have confirmed it was the weapon used in the murders, the court heard.

According to a prosecution barrister, it has also been established that the bullets were the same type of ammunition as those used.

Fiona O'Kane claimed it was significant that four cartridges were missing from the revolver, as the victims had been shot four times.

Following his arrest, McKeown explained the forensic link by claiming the round was put in his pocket at a bonfire, she added.

Mrs O'Kane disclosed that more than 100 exhibits have been seized from a property linked to the accused and that both house-to-house and forensic inquiries were continuing. More than £3,000 in cash was also seized from this address, the court heard.

Neil Rafferty, defending, accepted there was prima facie case against his client, but argued that it was entirely based on DNA evidence.

He said McKeown was unaware what was put in his pocket during the alleged bonfire incident, but had handed it back immediately.

It was argued that McKeown could be bailed to live with a friend in Falkirk, Scotland, to ease any concerns about witness interference.

Two cash sureties of £10,000 and £5,000 were also available, the judge was told.

But Mr Justice McLaughlin refused bail after deciding there were "powerful reasons" for keeping the accused in custody.

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