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Girl’s screams on her 18th birthday as dad was killed

A woman whose father was murdered after her 18th birthday party wept as she told a court she initially believed he had been shot.

Siobhan Hughes told Belfast Crown Court yesterday that after hearing a bang and seeing her |father Eamonn Hughes lying on the road, she told a passing taxi driver she believed her dad had been shot.

Wiping tears from her eyes, Miss Hughes said it was only later she was told her father had been stabbed in the chest and had died.

Denying Mr Hughes' murder on September 14, 2008 are Dungannon men Martin Murray (23), from Windmill Drive, his cousin Liam Murray (24), from Windmill Court, and 24-year-old Kevin Toye, from Windmill Court, as well as Ballymena man William McDonagh (25), from Kew Gardens.

All four also deny attempting to murder Martina Donaghy and her daughter Emma — who were ran over as they tended to the stricken Mr Hughes — and one charge of affray. Kevin Murray (41), from Lisnahull Gardens also in Dungannon, and who is an uncle to the other two Murrays, denies attempting to murder Mr Hughes' son Kevin after he allegedly shot him with a crossbow bolt.

According to the Crown case, Martin Murray was the knifeman who stabbed Mr Hughes in the chest and Toye was the driver of the hijacked taxi which ran over the mother and daughter.

Yesterday Siobhan Hughes said that as the group of family and friends walked back to the Hughes family home in the Lisnahull estate, she saw Martin Murray standing at the front of a taxi “threatening people” with a knife.

She told prosecuting lawyer Fiona O'Kane she had known Martin Murray “for years” from around the local area.

Miss Hughes said she could “just remember screaming at this point” and was in shock at seeing a knife being wielded.

“I just remember standing there with my friend screaming and I walked down the road and seen my daddy.” She added that she was standing at the passenger side of a taxi being driven by Mary Tennyson when the taxi which ran over Martina and Emma Donaghy came back.

She told the lawyer: “I remember somebody shouting ‘here they come again' and I got down on my knees and put my head down. I thought that they were coming to shoot somebody again.”

Miss Hughes added that as she was ducked down behind the taxi, she heard a bang and assumed that someone had been shot.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph