Paul McIntyre was cheered as he was led into the building
The man accused of murdering Lyra McKee is alleged to have committed a joint enterprise with an unknown gunman by picking up the cases of the bullets used to kill her, a court heard.
Paul McIntyre, 52, was remanded in custody at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court on Thursday after appearing charged with the murder of the journalist last April.
During a 50-minute hearing, defence lawyer Derwin Harvey said: “The allegation against Mr McIntyre is that Mr McIntyre is at this riot and a male shoots the gun and that Mr McIntyre, after the gun was shot, picks up the cases.”
The court heard a lengthy defence submission applying for bail, but the judge adjourned the hearing until he received further information from prosecution about the evidence linking McIntyre to the charges.
Mr Harvey said the case rested on a “snapshot” of low-quality mobile phone footage which the prosecution claims showed a man wearing clothing matching what his client was wearing earlier in the day.
Earlier supporters clashed with police outside court as he arrived for his first appearance.
They held placards saying he is a “political hostage” and a “British scapegoat” and scuffled with up to 40 police officers as they refused to move from the entrance to the courthouse.
Lyra McKee was standing near a police vehicle when she was hit by a bullet fired by a masked gunman towards officers.
The Belfast writer was living in Derry with partner, Sara Canning, who also arrived at court on Thursday morning.
Ms Mckee’s sister Nichola Corner was among several people in the public gallery wearing T shirts emblazoned with her picture.
Ms McKee was a gay rights activist and an articulate advocate of a new and more tolerant Northern Ireland and part of the generation which reached adulthood during peace time.
She wrote for publications including Private Eye and Buzzfeed.
Her funeral was attended by then prime minister Theresa May, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Irish President Michael D Higgins at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.
Catholic priest Fr Martin Magill received a standing ovation when he asked why it took her death to unite politicians.
Days later the British and Irish governments announced a new talks process aimed at restoring devolution.
Power sharing was resurrected last month and the first same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland took place this week.
McIntyre is also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and belonging to or professing to be a member of a proscribed organisation. His address was given in court as Kinnego Park, Londonderry.
The New IRA said it carried out the killing of Ms McKee.
McIntyre will next appear in court on February 27.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Michael McHugh (PA) for original story
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