Northern Ireland

James McDonagh murder: Police officer in court accused of perverting justice

James McDonagh
Image caption James McDonagh died in hospital after being assaulted in Toomebridge

A policewoman has appeared in court accused of perverting justice in connection with the murder of a man in County Antrim.

James McDonagh, 28, died in hospital on 11 January from head injuries after being assaulted outside a nightclub in Toomebridge.

Cathy Thompson, 33, faces two counts of perverting the course of justice and a charge of withholding information.

She is alleged to have committed the offences between January 10 and 16.

One charge of perverting the course of justice related to a text message which she allegedly sent.

The message stated: "Yeah, don't have anything in the house that you should not have. They will search the whole house for clothing."

The second charge of perverting the course of justice relates to a second message which read: "Tell him to behave and say nothing".

A detective sergeant told the district judge that he believed the defendant could be connected to the charges.

The defendant was released on bail and the case has been adjourned until April.

A 24-year-old man has been charged with Mr McDonagh's murder.

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