Belfast Telegraph

Second accused denies any part in Belfast flat double murder

By Alan Erwin

A second man has been remanded in custody accused of carrying out a double killing at a flat in Belfast.

Ciaran Nugent (32) faces charges of murdering Caron Smyth and Finbar McGrillen during a domestic incident earlier this month.

The bodies of Ms Smyth (40) and Mr McGrillen (42) were discovered at an apartment in Ravenill Court, in the south east of the city, on December 13.

Police had been called to the scene to investigate a suspected burglary.

Nugent, with an address on the Falls Road in west Belfast, appeared before the City's Magistrates Court after being charged with the double murder.

Dressed in a white T-shirt, he spoke only to confirm he understood the allegations against him.

A detective sergeant said he could connect him to the alleged offences.

Questioned by defence lawyer Matt Higgins, the officer confirmed that Nugent had denied the charges. The detective also agreed that the evidence against the accused was circumstantial.

No further details of the circumstances surrounding the two deaths were disclosed.

Nugent did not seek bail during the short hearing.

He was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link on January 20.

Nugent is the second man to be charged with the two murders.

Last week Shaun Hegarty (33), of Grainne House in the New Lodge area of north Belfast, appeared in court.

He was also remanded in custody until next month.

Caron Smyth was originally from Drumaness, just outside Ballynahinch, Co Down.

Earlier this month Alliance councillor Patrick Clarke, who attended secondary school with Ms Smyth, paid tribute to her.

Adam Newton, chairman of the District Policing and Community Safety Partnership and a DUP councillor for South Belfast, said the deaths had caused shock in the Ravenhill area.

"This is a quiet neighbourhood and a brutal event such as this can strike fear into the community. It will be a heartbreaking time for all the families. I extend my sympathies to them," he said.

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