Belfast Telegraph

Trio charged over Lisburn shotgun killing stay in custody

Paul Smyth
Paul Smyth
James Holmes
James McVeigh

By Paul Higgins

Three men charged over the shotgun murder of a man in Lisburn are to remain in prison, a judge has said.

A prosecuting lawyer told the city's magistrates court the PPS will receive the "full file" against James Holmes (32) and James McVeigh (29) on Thursday.

The pair, who appeared via videolink, are jointly charged with the murder of 50-year-old Paul Smyth on June 19 this year.

They are also charged with attempting to murder a man and woman on June 23 and possessing a shotgun and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

A third man accused of two counts of attempted murder and possessing a shotgun and ammunition, James Robert Stewart (29), also appeared via videolink.

Stewart, from the Ballybog Road in Dunmurry, is also accused of assisting offenders, namely Holmes and McVeigh, after they allegedly committed murder and withholding information about the killing.

District Judge Rosie Watters remanded all three back into custody to appear again on September 16.

During an unsuccessful application when Holmes and McVeigh first appeared last month, a police officer recounted how a friend of Mr Smyth was concerned for him as she "had not seen him for a few days" so called to his home at Coulson Avenue in Lisburn on the evening of Friday, June 21.

Finding his front door closed but unlocked, the woman went inside to find Mr Smyth's body "slumped on the sofa, covered in blood".

A post mortem examination revealed he had died from a shotgun wound to the chest, said the detective, adding that shotgun wadding was recovered from the fatal wound.

She said that from police investigations into Mr Smyth's phone and laptop, police believe he was murdered between 2am and 3am on Wednesday, June 19.

The double attempted murder related to an incident at a house in Mill Street in the city on June 23, she told the court.

The officer had outlined how the householder had been woken by his dog barking and looked outside to see a masked man who asked him about a named male who once lived in the property.

It was during that exchange, said the detective, that a second male carrying a single barrelled shotgun "came around the side of the house" and fired a shot through the window, smashing it.

The female victim told police that despite the fact the men were masked, she named Holmes and McVeigh as the men who attacked her home.

The officer revealed that forensic examination of the shotgun wadding recovered from Mr Smyth's chest forensically matched wadding found at the Mill Street incident "as coming from the same gun".

She had further claimed CCTV footage placed the defendants in and around both scenes at the time of the respective incidents.

Belfast Telegraph


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