Judge slams delays in McDaid case

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A judge has criticised the “disgracefully long” delay in bringing the case concerning the killing of Coleraine man Kevin McDaid to trial.

Twelve men have pleaded not guilty to killing the Catholic community worker and father of four in May 2009.

Mr McDaid was allegedly attacked by a loyalist gang outside his Somerset Drive home.

All of the accused appeared in the dock at Belfast Crown Court on Friday for a pre-trial hearing.

In a packed courtroom, several of the defence barristers said they had yet to receive CCTV images and autopsy photographs from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

Addressing counsel for the PPS Mr Justice Weir said: “I think someone is going to have to get their police bike out and deliver these materials.”

He also warned all counsel present the trial would go ahead after Easter.

“This bus is leaving after Easter and you better be on board with your suitcases,” he said.

The 12 men are also charged with the attempted murder of Damian Fleming.

The defendants are: Aaron Beech, John Street, Ballymena; David Craig Cochrane, Windyhall Park; David James John Cochrane, Windyhall Park; Frank Daly, Oakland Walk, Coleraine; Rodney Gardner, Knocklynn Grange, Philip Kane, Danes Hill Road; John Thompson, Knocknougher Road, Macosquin, Coleraine - all Coleraine; Christopher McDowell, Castle Walk Mews, Castlerock; James McAfee, of Cloneen Drive, Ballymoney; Ivan McDowell, Taggart Mews, John McGrath, Knock Road; Paul Newman, Nursery Avenue - all Ballymoney.