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‘Catholic area out of bounds’ for Devlin accused

The man who allegedly stabbed schoolboy Thomas Devlin to death told police he had not been on the Somerton Road for “years” because “it's all Catholics up there”.

The Belfast Crown Court jury were read the transcript of the first interviews police had with 23-year-old Gary Ryan Taylor in September 2005, in which the alleged killer claimed he could not remember where he was on the night of the murder.

Taylor, from Mountcollyer Avenue in north Belfast, denies murdering the 15-year-old on August 10, 2005, attempting to murder his friend Jonathan McKee and a further charge of attempting to cause Mr McKee grievous bodily harm.

Alongside Taylor in the dock is 26-year-old Nigel James Brown from the Whitewell Road, also north Belfast, who denies the same charges but who has pleaded guilty to a count of attempting to inflict GBH on Mr McKee.

The jury heard yesterday that at the beginning of the first interview police had with Taylor, it was put to him that he was involved in the killing. “I wasn't involved in any shape or form,” said Taylor, who told police that he could not remember where he was on the night of the murder but was probably in his flat at Ross House in the Mount Vernon estate.

Asked if he had ever been on the Somerton Road, Taylor said he hadn’t been recently “because it's all Catholics up there”.

Taylor said in later police interviews that on the night in question he had gone to Brown's flat where he drank wine and smoked cannabis before going out to a carpark to smoke more with Brown and two others. At hearing.

Belfast Telegraph