Man accused of murdering Eamonn Magee refused bail

editorial image

A Turkish national charged with the murder of Eamonn Magee Jr has been refused bail by a Lisburn judge.

Orhan Koca appeared at Lisburn Magistrates Court on Monday (June 15) via videolink.

The court heard that on May 30 at 2.38am the police were called to Summerhill Park in West Belfast, where they found Mr Magee lying in the road and bleeding heavily from stab wounds.

“Enquiries quickly established that he had been at the home of his girlfriend Miss Courtney Ward and at 2am they ordered a pizza,” explained the prosecution.

“Shortly after 2.30am Mr Magee left the house by the rear exit and his girlfriend then heard screaming outside.

“When she left the house she saw two men standing over Mr Magee trying to help him.”

Prosecution told the court that Miss Ward was the estranged partner of the defendant and that she had commenced a relationship with the victim.

“The defendant had been stalking her, mainly via social media, and advising her to stop seeing her boyfriend,” continued the Prosecution.

Koca was interviewed by the police on seventeen occasions following his arrest and repeatedly denied murdering Mr Magee.

The court also heard that jeans, covered in Mr Magee’s blood, had been recovered from Beckett’s Bar, where the defendant both worked and stayed, and that the jeans were found close to items of clothing belonging to Koca.

Detective Constable McComb from the Serious Crime Branch told the court the police would be strongly opposing the bail application.

He confirmed a number of searches had been carried out and that a knife had been recovered. However, tests had yet to be carried out in order to ascertain whether or not it was the murder weapon.

Detective Constable McComb said he was concerned about interference with witnesses if the defendant was released on bail. He said the police were also concerned about the defendant absconding from the jurisdiction.

However, District Judge Rosie Watters refused the bail application, saying that her “principal concern would be him not turning up for trial.

“The basis for his residency seems to be very tenuous. He is facing very serious charges and the temptation would be not to turn up for trial,” she said.

The defendant was remanded in custody to reappear before Lisburn Magistrates Court on July 6 via videolink.