Man admits lesser charges in case surrounding McDaid death

Kevin McDaid
Kevin McDaid

A Co Antrim man who was due to stand trial yesterday on charges arising from the death of Catholic community worker Kevin McDaid has had manslaughter and attempted murder charges dropped.

Mr McDaid, 49, collapsed and died after a group of loyalists launched a violent attack near his Somerset Drive home in the Heights area of Coleraine in May 2009.

John McGrath, 54, of Knock Road, Ballymoney initially faced a string of charges, including manslaughter and attempted murder.

McGrath was yesterday re-arraigned at Belfast Crown Court on a number of offences and pleaded guilty to lesser charges. He pleaded guilty as a secondary party to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Damien Fleming on May 24, 2009.

The defendant also admitted assaulting Mr McDaid causing him actual bodily harm on the same date as a secondary part and causing affray.

Prosecution counsel Ciaran Murphy QC asked that the remaining charges of manslaughter and attempted murder against McGrath “be left on the books in the usual terms’’.

Trial judge Mr Justice Weatherup released McGrath on continuing bail pending the preparation of a pre-sentence report before passing sentence.

Last week seven other defendants pleaded guilty to lesser charges linked to events that occurred in the Heights area of Coleraine on the same day.

They also had the manslaughter and attempted murder charges dropped.