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GUN VICTIM 'LURED TO HIS DEATH' Court told of texts as couple on kill rap.

Byline: ALAN ERWIN

CHRISTOPHER Mackin was "lured" to his death with 50 phonecalls and texts, a court heard yesterday.

Mr Mackin was gunned down within five minutes of leaving his mother's home in Belfast city centre after a series of contacts with accused Julie Ann Valliday.

mo city con VaT hu bo Ma th to ni The 35-year-old and her husband Charles Valliday, 40, both appeared at the city's Magistrates' Court which heard they were partners in the plot to kill Mr Mackin last Thursday night.

The 31-year-old was shot four times at College Square North in the city centre.

tim in AP Charles Valliday and Julie Ann Valliday, of Powerscourt Place, South Belfast, both deny murdering him.

m They were refused bail due to fears of either fleeing or interfering with witnesses. A to in judge also based her decision on the fact the murder weapon has yet to be located.

The court heard the case against the couple is centred on circumstantial evidence. CCTV, telecommunications and cartridge discharge residue strands which were identified.

A detective inspector said there was evidence of a Renault Clio being in the Divis Street area just minutes before the shooting. He claimed Julie Ann Valliday could be seen driving it, although her passenger could not be identified.

Swab tests are also being carried out on a discharge residue sample found on a bed sheet in the suspects' home.

During questioning by Charles Valliday's solicitor, he claimed there were approximately 50 contacts between Julie Ann Valliday and the victim in a three-and-a-half hour period before the shooting.

The officer added: "They were voice calls and text calls.

"The nature of these calls and contacts were to arrange a meeting between the co-accused [Mrs Valliday] and the deceased.

"We can see from the deceased's text messages he had some concerns and suspected he may have been set up for something, but nevertheless [he] went on to have the meeting."

The detective added police believe "Mrs Valliday lured this man to the scene where he was murdered".

He said: "Within an hour of that she was with her husband, which leads us to believe they both acted together in this enterprise."

Lawyers for both accused attacked the strength of the case against the defendants.

Billy McNulty, for Charles Valliday, said: "This charge was hastily cobbled together, based on speculation, rumour, innuendo, call it what you like, but no concrete evidence to link Mr Valliday to the charge."

Julie Ann Valliday's lawyer Paul McCrudden stressed there was no evidence connecting her to the scene of the killing.

But questioned about whether Mrs Valliday has previously been involved in crime with her husband, the detective said there was intelligence against the pair.

They were remanded in custody to appear by video link next month.

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INVESTIGATION Police forensics at the scene in Belfast city TRAGIC JChristopher Mackin
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2012
Words:480
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