| 8.5°C Belfast

Court told Thomas Devlin murder accused ‘acted as team’

Two men accused of murdering schoolboy Thomas Devlin acted as “a team” and intended to kill him, a senior barrister has declared.

Making his closing speech to the Belfast Crown Court jury of eight men and four women, prosecuting QC Toby Hedworth said what 26-year-old Nigel Brown and Gary Taylor (23) intended to do that night was “crystal clear”.

He said: “What did Thomas Devlin's assailants intend? The prosecution submit there can be but one answer — to kill.”

North Belfast men Brown, from Whitewell Road, and Taylor, from Mountcollyer Avenue, both deny murdering the 15-year-old, attempting to murder his friend Jonathan McKee and attempting to wound him with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on August 10 2005.

Brown has already pleaded guilty to attempting to cause 22-year-old Mr McKee GBH with intent.

Throughout the course of the last five weeks the jury have heard how Thomas, Mr McKee and another friend, Fintan Maguire, were set upon by two men with a dog as they walked along the Somerton Road in north Belfast.

The teenager died as a result of the nine stab wounds he sustained, while Mr McKee was stabbed in the stomach and hit on the head and body with a wooden bat and it is the Crown case that Taylor was the knifeman and that Brown had the bat.

The jury yesterday watched CCTV footage again showing Brown and Taylor leaving Ross House together just before 11.30pm, and then immediately after midnight Taylor returns and walks backwards past the camera in the foyer before taking the stairs to his 12th floor flat.

However two minutes after he first arrived Taylor is seen leaving and returning five minutes later, again walking backwards with his hands up his sleeves which are held up, covering his head and face in what Mr Hedworth described as “bizarre conduct”.

During police interviews Taylor admitted to leaving with Brown but claimed the pair separated as he went to visit his grandmother, but changed his mind, met two friends who took him to a local car park to smoke cannabis before dropping him off at the junction of the Shore Road. At hearing.

Belfast Telegraph