A Lurgan man was granted bail last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court after he was charged with a murder that took place 15 years ago.
Forty five year old Gary Marshall, Ennis Green, Lurgan, stood in the dock as he was charged with the murder of Kevin Conway between February 16 and February 19, 1998.
At the time the killing was blamed on the IRA.
Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Brown, said he believed he could connect the defendant with the charge. He objected to bail.
Outlining the background to the matter he said that 30 year old Mr Conway’s body had been discovered inside a derelict building atAghalee. He had been hooded, his hands tied behind his back and he had been shot in the head.
He added that at the time a car belonging to the defendant had been seized by police. Fibres recovered from the vehicle matched those from a shirt of the victim.
Marshall had claimed then that the fibres were there because Mr Conway had helped him with a child’s car seat. He was released without charge.
The officer revealed that in a review of the investigation there was further forensic analysis requested on debris found on debris in the footwells of the car and in the building where the victim was found.
He said there was ‘a range of similarities’ between the samples and that there was further fibre forensic evidence of fibres from the victim’s shirt found on the back seat of the car.
The officer told the court that Marshall had been arrested in an hotel in Birmingham.
He objected to bail saying this was a serious charge and that defendant travelled regularly throughout the UK. He felt there was a serious risk he may abscond to avoid a court appearance.
Defence solicitor, Mr Peter Corrigan, said that under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement that, if convicted, Marshall would only serve a maximum sentence of two years.
Detective Sergeant Brown said police accepted it was a qualifying offence under the Good Friday Agreement.
Mr Corrigan said Marshall had no relevant previous convictions. He was an electrician whose work frequently took him to England and that was the reason why he was in an hotel in Birmingham as he was working there.
The solicitor added that the defendant’s family had left ‘the Troubles’ behind them and police were not making any case that he was aligned to any dissidents.
Mr Corrigan explained that Marshall was a referee with the Armagh County Board, coached underage teams in the Lurgan area, was involved with the St Peter’s Club and played a positive role within the community.
“His roots are firmly in this jurisdiction and any risk of flight is negligible,” he said.
Mr Corrigan said Marshall’s solicitor at the time of the murder was Rosemary Nelson and they gave a detailed statement of everything he had done on the day in question.
He submitted that there were triable issues over the forensic evidence.
Mr Corrigan suggested that any concerns of the court could be dealt with by stringent conditions and there was a surety of £20,000 available.
Deputy District Judge Dunlop granted Marshall his own bail of £1,000 with a £5,000 cash surety with the conditions that he surrender his passport, report daily to a police station, reside outside the Lurgan area and have no contact with the family or relatives of the victim.