NewsNorthern Ireland

Barman remanded in custody for Magee murder

Orhan Koca
Orhan Koca

A 32-year-old barman has been remanded in custody charged with murdering the son of a former boxing champion.

There were emotional scenes at Craigavon Magistrates' Court where Turkish national Orhan Koca appeared in the dock.

Eamonn Magee Jnr, 22, was stabbed to death as he went to check on a pizza delivery in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Eamonn Magee Jnr

His father Eamonn Magee Snr, a former WBU welterweight title holder, was supported in court by a large crowd.

As Koca was led from the dock, the boxer shouted: "That's my f****** son you killed you murdering bastard."

Earlier, District Judge Des Perry had warned he would clear the court if the hearing was disrupted.

He said: "If proceedings are disrupted in any way, understand this is a very, very emotional situation, I will have no hesitation in clearing the court."

Eamonn Magee Snr

Koca, who has no fixed abode, spoke to confirm his name and that he understood the murder charge against him.

Mr Magee, who had followed his father into the boxing ring and had a promising career ahead of him, was also studying engineering at university.

Police believe his killer lay in wait while he visited a friend's house in the Summerhill Park area of West Belfast.

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

Defence solicitor Eamon O'Connor said he intended to apply for bail in four weeks' time.

He said: "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."

Koca, who was dressed in a grey tracksuit, sat in the dock with his arms folded and was flanked between two prison guards. At times, he looked towards Mr Magee Snr.

He answered loudly and clearly "Yes" when asked by the court clerk to confirm his identity.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer told the court he believed he could connect the accused to the charge. Detective Inspector Darren McCartney also revealed that the suspected murder weapon had been found and had been sent for forensic analysis.

A prosecutor said bail would be opposed in all circumstances.