Belfast Telegraph

Murder accused 'believed SAS were going to kill him'

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man accused of shooting a man dead in bed has denied he knew the victim and claimed he wouldn't "hurt anybody", a court has heard.

Kieran McLaughlin (60), of Elaghmore Park, Derry, is accused of murdering Barry McCrory (35) in his Shipquay Street flat on October 10, 2013.

He denies murder and having guns and ammunition with intent to endanger life. However, he pleaded guilty last week to having them in suspicious circumstances.

During the fourth day of the trial at Belfast Crown Court, transcripts of police interviews with McLaughlin after his arrest were read out. McLaughlin was repeatedly asked if he knew Mr McCrory. He said he didn't, telling police: "I don't know anything about him."

He also said he thought "the RUC or PSNI assumed that I had hurt or killed or executed that person", but he wasn't the "hitman" responsible.

The father of six was arrested on October 16 after police found him lying under a car in Rossnagalliagh, Derry.

Asked why he was there, he replied: "I was staying out of the road of a drone in the sky. I was just in a dark place, I didn't know where I was. I was scared and anxious about my family."

He also said he thought he was going to be killed by the SAS.

Telling the officers that he was "not guilty of anything", McLaughlin said in the moments prior to his arrest he heard helicopters and police jeeps, and that he feared for his family.

The interview ended with McLaughlin telling police: "I am not guilty of anything. I wouldn't hurt anyone intentionally."

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