Home move for Lurgan kidnap killing suspect denied

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A judge has varied a suspected Lurgan republican killer’s bail conditions but refused to allow him to move home because it’s too close to his alleged victim’s widow.

District Judge Mervyn Bates told Gary Marshall it was a “reasonable concession” for the police to agree to allow him to report to police three times a week instead of every day.

Detective Sergeant Brown had told Craigavon Magistrates Court Marshall’s proposed address was “in close proximity to the widow” of Kevin Conway.

Marshall (45), from Ennis Green in Lurgan, is accused of murdering 30-year-old Mr Conway on a date unknown between February 16 and 19, 1998.

Having been kidnapped from his Lurgan home, the body of the married father of four was found on farmland near Aghalee on February 17, his head hooded, hands tied behind his back and shot through the head.

Detectives arrested Marshall in Birmingham last December after carrying out a review of the original RUC murder investigation and the court previously heard that Marshall could allegedly be connected to the execution by soil and forensic fibre evidence.

Marshall was arrested and questioned during the original investigation but refused to speak to police over the course of 20 interviews until forensic evidence was put to him.

It was claimed that Marshall’s red Vauxhall Nova had been used in the killing and that original examination of the car had uncovered fibres from Mr Conway’s shirt on the back seat and that recent, further examinations uncovered more fibres from the murdered man’s shirt on both the upright and seated parts.

Attended by murdered solicitor Rosemary Nelson during the original investigation, Marshall had claimed 15 years ago the fibres were there because Mr Conway had helped him with a child’s car seat.

But according to the police case, that explanation is not consistent with the forensic findings.

It was further claimed that another forensic scientist had opined there was a “range of similarities” between soil debris in the footwell of the Nova car and the derelict building where Mr Conway’s body was found.

Mr Corrigan asked for reporting conditions to be waived completely, claiming there was “absolutely no prospect that the defendant will abscond”.

Judge Bates however said it was a “considerable improvement” for Marshall to report three times per week.

The case was listed for an “update hearing” on April 30.