Men to go on trial for murder

editorial image

Two men are to go on trial on Tuesday accused of the murder of an Armagh man attacked nearly four years ago.

The pair, Gareth McKinney, 23 and originally with an address at Charles Park, Portadown and Michael Wilson, also 23, from Marlacoo Road, Tandragee deny the murder of 30-year-old Lee Smyth.

Wilson is also charged with stealing a cigarette tin from Mr Smyth.

The only details given to the jury of six and six men was that the accused allegedly took part in an attack on Mr Smyth near the Drelincourt Primary School and the Grove Nursery area of the cathedral city.

Trial judge Mr Justice Weir told the jury it was important that they know nothing of the case or of any witness involved in the case to begin tomorrow in Armagh courthouse.

The trial itself is expected to last up to two weeks.

Mr Justice Weir added that as they had repeatedly heard each of them was sworn to try the case “to give true verdicts according to the evidence”.

That, said the judge, “means exactly what it says”, as he warned them not to be tempted to “look things up on the internet”, or to discuss the evidence, save with their fellow jury members.

Adjourning the case until tomorrow (Tuesday), the judge repeated that it was important they decide the case only on the basis of the evidence they hear in court and not what they might read or hear in the press, or see on the internet.

“It is most important,” said Mr Justice Weir, “that you stick to that advice.”