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UDA ‘involved in the murder of Kevin McDaid’

Police believe UDA members were involved in the mob murder of Catholic community worker Kevin McDaid, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors also disclosed that 10 people are now under threat as part of an alleged campaign to intimidate witnesses to the attack in Coleraine, Co Londonderry.

Details emerged as one of the men accused in connection with events surrounding the killing of Mr McDaid was refused bail yesterday. Joiner David James John Cochrane (48) of Windyhall Park, Coleraine, faces a charge of affray. He denies the offence.

Crown counsel Peter Coll said it was alleged that Cochrane was part of a group shouting sectarian abuse when the father-of-four was beaten to death near his home in the town's Heights area.

Opposing Cochrane's application to be released, Mr Coll claimed there was a risk of possible interference with witnesses. He claimed that releasing Cochrane would also further heighten tensions ahead of the looming marching season.

Francis Rafferty, defending, said his client strongly denied being involved in any of the events alleged. The barrister highlighted the conflicting accounts given by two witnesses: one claimed Cochrane was wearing a white Rangers top while the other stated he had a red Liverpool shirt on. After hearing both sides Mr Justice Hart said there were “sectarian overtones” to the attack. Refusing bail, the judge said: “It is believed that a terrorist organisation was involved or members of such an organisation were involved in the events of that day.”

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