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Bid to halt bail for woman accused of murdering Daniel Guyler in Derry fails

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Daniel Guyler died in hospital in May of 2019

Daniel Guyler died in hospital in May of 2019

Daniel Guyler died in hospital in May of 2019

Prosecutors have failed in a High Court challenge to bail being granted to a woman charged with the murder of a pensioner in Derry.

Rhona Gracey, 33, is accused of killing 75-year-old Daniel Guyler, who was found with serious injuries two years ago and died nearly 10 months later. A second woman, 44-year-old Sharon Harland, is also charged with his murder.

The Public Prosecution Service mounted an appeal after a magistrate decided last week that both defendants can be released on bail.

But Lord Justice McCloskey, on Wednesday, July 29, rejected the bid to keep Gracey in custody.

"The objection to the grant of bail cannot be sustained," he confirmed.

The case against Harland was adjourned to a later date.

Emergency services discovered Mr Guyler in the Termon Street area of Derry on July 23, 2018.

He never regained consciousness, dying in hospital on May 1, 2019.

The court heard he had sustained a head injury, with a doctor who examined him concluding that he had either fallen repeatedly from a height or been attacked.

Gracey, from Coven Street in Belfast, and Harland, of Baltimore House in Derry, were arrested last week and jointly charged with his murder.

They are also accused of robbing Mr Guyler of £400 he had in his wallet.

Although no-one saw the pensioner being assaulted, witnesses alleged the two defendants were with him shortly before the incident.

At the time both women lived in hostel accommodation and drank in the area of the alleged attack, according to the prosecution.

The pair had been detained at the time, but initial assault charges were not pursued.

However, the prosecution contended that forensic evidence now links them to Mr Guyler.

Blood from the deceased was allegedly found on Gracey's clothing and Harland's shoes.

During police interviews the defendants either made no comment or said they could not remember the incident.

Gracey's barrister, Tom McCreanor, stressed that she only lived in Derry for a brief period before the alleged attack.

Since her return to Belfast she has led a "quiet and somewhat isolated life", counsel submitted.

Dismissing the appeal against Gracey's release on bail, Lord Justice McCloskey imposed conditions to manage any risk.

He ordered her to live under curfew and prohibited contact with any prosecution witnesses.

The judge also directed: "The applicant will not enter the city of Londonderry, save for the purposes of attending court or the offices of her solicitor." e

Belfast Telegraph