Northern Ireland

Christopher McClean accused of killing Darren McBrearty

Christopher McClean
Image caption Christopher McClean was released on bail after facing manslaughter charges

A teenager charged with the manslaughter of a man on Sunday threw a single punch during an altercation outside a bar in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Christopher McClean, 18, from Main Street in Gortin, County Tyrone, is accused of killing Omagh man Darren McBrearty, 28, in John Street.

Mr McBrearty had been on a life support machine since the assault but died in hospital on Tuesday.

The accused was released on bail to appear again in court later this month.

Two other men, aged 23 and 24, were also arrested in connection with the incident but were released on bail.

The case against Mr McClean rests on whether he threw the punch in self-defence or as an act of aggression.

Image caption Darren McBrearty died in hospital on Tuesday

Dressed in a grey top and jeans and with a black eye, he did not speak throughout the hearing at Dungannon District Court. His solicitor, however, asked a detective constable to confirm that his client had made a full statement to the police at the first opportunity.

'Highly respected'

The police officer confirmed this was the case and agreed that the version of events laid out in that statement tallied with the police's understanding of what had happened.

The officer agreed that this appeared to be a "single punch" incident and that the case rested on whether this was an act of aggression or, as the accused claims, an act of self-defence.

A large number of friends and relatives of the accused man watched from the public gallery, some of them weeping.