Page last updated at 18:44 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 19:44 UK

McCartney city murder trial ends

Magennis's bar
Mr McCartney was killed outside Magennis's bar

The month-long trial of three men in connection with the murder of Robert McCartney has come to an end.

The trial judge at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice Gillen, said he will announce his ruling "in the not too distant future."

Terence Davison, 51, of Stanfield Place, Belfast, denies murder.

Mr Davison is also accused of affray, as are James McCormick, 39, and Joseph Gerard Emmanuel Fitzpatrick, 47. They deny the charges.

Mr McCartney, 33, was beaten and stabbed to death outside a bar on 30 January 2005. Brendan Devine, a close friend of Mr McCartney, was also stabbed.

After hearing closing arguments made by the prosecution and the defence, the judge said he would "have to spend some time reflecting on it before I reach my final conclusion".

Prosecutor Ciaran Murphy QC told Mr Justice Gillen the evidence before the court was sufficient to prove the charges "beyond reasonable doubt".

He also said the case was one where "inferences could properly be drawn" by the refusal of all three defendants to give evidence at the hearing.

Defence barrister Orlando Pownall said the "extraordinarily diverse" evidence of the three main Crown witnesses "exposed the shortcomings" in the prosecution case.

Speaking on the final day of the trial, Mr McCartney's sister, Paula, said listening to the evidence of her brother's murder has been "horrendous."

"It has been very very difficult for us, especially listening to the brutality that Robert suffered," she said.

"It's been very draining and very distressing as anyone who has lost a loved one in this way will know.

"It was horrendous. When they were talking about the injuries he sustained it was hard to listen to.

"What we want now is justice for Robert."



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