Pair charged with cutting themselves as murder cover-up

Murder victim Padraig Fox.
Murder victim Padraig Fox.

Two County Down men have been charged with cutting themselves with a knife in an attempt to present a murder as self defence.

Padraig Fox, 29, was found dead by police in a flat at Burrendale Park Road in Newcastle on Saturday.

A police officer outside a block of flats in Burrendale Park Road in Newcastle where the body of 29-year-old Padraig Fox was found

A police officer outside a block of flats in Burrendale Park Road in Newcastle where the body of 29-year-old Padraig Fox was found

Donach Rice, 21, from Kilkeel Road in Annalong, appeared in Newtownards Magistrates Court today charged with his murder and five other charges.

Both he and 26-year-old Paul Patrick Magennis from Burrendale Park Road, Newcastle, are charged with perverting the course of justice by cutting themselves with a knife after the murder “to give the false impression” that the killing had been in self defence.

Mr Magennis also faces a further charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice by placing a knife “under the hand of Padraig Fox following his murder”.

In addition, the pair both face a charge of attempting to rob Daniel Curran of cash.

Mr Rice is also charged with burgling the Slieve Donard hotel and stealing three bottles of alcohol and fraudulently presenting a betting slip to Toal’s Bookmaker.

Mr Magennis is also charged with stealing a £2000 bicycle on 6 December. All other charges against both men relate to events on the day of the murder.

Both suspects were remanded in custody to appear in Downpatrick Courthouse on 3 January.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning detectives in the case arrested a 20-year-old man on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

They appealed for information on tel 101, quoting reference number 712 8/12/18 or anonymously via Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.