Belfast Telegraph

Crumlin man accused of knife murder in his own home refused bail

Michael McManus
Michael McManus
Niall Magee, who died at the weekend
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A man murdered in Co Antrim had a single knife wound to the side of his face, a court has heard.

The details emerged as a man was remanded in custody charged with the murder of Niall Magee (21) in Crumlin at the weekend.

Michael McManus (25) of Cairn Walk, Crumlin, appeared at Limavady Magistrates Court yesterday with both eyes blackened and cuts and bruises to his swollen face.

He is accused of killing Mr Magee, who passed away on Sunday from an injury allegedly sustained in an incident at the house in Cairn Walk, where the defendant lives, the previous day.

A Detective Chief Inspector told the court he believed he could connect the accused to the charge and objected to a bail application on the grounds that the defendant might leave the jurisdiction and might interfere with a "vulnerable" witness.

The court heard that police and ambulance crews attended the house at Cairn Walk after they received a 999 call at 2.50am on Saturday saying two people had died.

Police entered the house where they found the defendant and Mr Magee slumped at the bottom of the stairs.

The DCI said Mr McManus had "multiple wounds" and Mr Magee had "a single knife wound to the right side of his face". Mr Magee was transferred to hospital where he passed away the following morning.

During a police search of the property "a large kitchen knife" was found lying under the sofa in the living room, the court heard.

The detective said the investigation was at an early stage but accepted it would "be a challenge" due to the high level of intoxication of all the witnesses involved.

A bail application was made by McManus's solicitor, Brendan Blaney, who told the court his client had given an account that would help police "disentangle this matrix".

He said McManus, in an attempt to ward off an attack, had sustained multiple and serious injuries that required surgery.

Mr Blaney added that his client "expressed genuine sympathy to the family of the deceased". Mr Blaney said when McManus was 16, he witnessed the death by drowning of his father and, in 2013, McManus's brother, Kieran, was murdered in a shooting.

Mr Blaney asked for his client to be released on bail - this was objected to by the detective, who said given the serious nature of the charge, he feared McManus would flee the jurisdiction.

He was also concerned that McManus would interfere with one of the witnesses, whom he described as a vulnerable 19-year-old woman.

District Judge Peter King refused bail. He remanded McManus in custody to appear on May 27 at Antrim Court via videolink.

McManus gave a thumbs up sign to friends sitting in the public gallery as he was led away.

Belfast Telegraph


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