Man denies murder of boxer

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A 32-year-old barman appeared in court in County Armagh charged with the murder of professional boxer and engineering student Eamonn Magee Jr from Dunmurry.

Orhan Koca, who is Turkish and whose address was given as no fixed abode, denied stabbing the 22 year old to death when he appeared at Craigavon Court House on Tuesday.

Eamonn Magee Sr was at Craigavon Magistrates Court along with friends and relatives.

Eamonn Magee jnr was with a friend in Summerhill Park, Twinbrook, on Saturday when the incident happened.

He stepped out to check on a pizza delivery when he was attacked.

The court was told Mr Koca, a father of three, denied the murder from the moment of his arrest and throughout 19 police interviews.

A defence solicitor said he intended to apply for bail in four weeks’ time.

“There is a full acknowledgement that this was a truly horrific crime. To have a child taken away in such brutal circumstances is the worst thing that can happen to a parent,” the solicitor said.

Mr Koca, who was dressed in a grey tracksuit, sat in the dock with his arms folded and was flanked by two prison guards.

He answered loudly and clearly confirming his identity.

A prosecuting lawyer said bail would be opposed. A detective inspector told the court he believed he could connect Mr Koca to the charges.

He also said further forensic tests would be carried out on the suspected murder weapon that police believe they recovered in searches in and around the Twinbrook area.

Mr Koca was remanded in custody until 29 June.