Belfast Telegraph

No bail for witness 'at risk from loyalists'

BY IVAN LITTLE

A Coleraine man who is a key witness in a trial arising out of a sectarian killing in the town three years ago has failed in a bid to be released from Maghaberry jail where he claims he's at risk from loyalist prisoners.

Peter Neill is on remand on drugs charges but his lawyer told the High Court he would feel safer in his own house where he's on a home security scheme.

Neill (45), of Hazelbank Road, is due to give evidence at a preliminary hearing against a number of defendants accused of offences related to the death of community worker Kevin McDaid (49) in Coleraine in May 2009.

The father-of-four was beaten by a loyalist mob just yards from his home in the Heights area.

Neill, a cousin of the dead man, was arrested in February by police investigating the discovery of £50,000 worth of class B drugs in Mallusk, Newtownabbey.

The methedrone was shipped into Northern Ireland from China and Neill denies a charge of attempted possession of the drugs with intent to supply.

His lawyer yesterday renewed a bail application because Neill feared he would be in danger in jail and Mr McDaid's widow Evelyn wants him with her in court.

Mr Justice Treacy refused bail and rejected an application for Neill to be granted anonymity.

Belfast Telegraph

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