NINE COLERAINE men aged 18 to 50 have appeared before Ballymena Magistrates Court on charges connected with the murder in Co Derry of Kevin McDaid last Sunday and other crimes.

Six men were charged with the murder of the 49-year-old father of four.

They are David Craig Cochrane (18) of Windyhall Park, John Thompson (29) of Daneshill Road, Frank Daly (48) of Rosemary Place, Christopher McDowell (33) of Glebe Road, Paul Newman (40) of Grassmere Close and John McGrath (50) of Hawthorn Place. They deny the charges.

Frank Daly and John McGrath are further charged with assaulting Mr McDaid’s widow, Evelyn, as are Ivan McDowell (42) Lisnablagh Road and Aaron Beech (23) of Windyhall Park.

These charges are also denied.

David Cochrane snr (47) is also charged with affray and he denies this charge.

The accused were brought into the court individually to face charges. They responded only to confirm their names and that they understood the charges.

District Judge Philip Mateer warned the court, which was packed with supporters of the nine men, that he would not tolerate any disorder.

There was a significant police presence in the courtroom.

Also in the public gallery were members and friends of the McDaid family, including one of his sons.

Det Insp Ian Magee confirmed to the court that each of the accused denied the charges against them. He told the court he could connect each of the accused with the crimes.

The court heard that Mr McDaid suffered a broken nose and bruising to his back in the attack that cost him his life.

The court heard that a postmortem found that the 49-year-old had died from a heart attack.

Peter Madden, solicitor for Christopher McDowell, asked if the evidence against his client was from three witnesses, one of whom had a lengthy criminal record.

This was confirmed.

There were no applications for bail and the nine were remanded in custody to appear before Coleraine magistrates by video link on June 8th.