Paul Curran ‘killed by friend with punch to the head’

Paul Curran's body was found in Lurgan last Thursday
Paul Curran's body was found in Lurgan last Thursday

A 37-year-old man has appeared in court accused of killing his friend.

Appearing in the dock of Lisburn Magistrates’ Court, John McComb confirmed he understood the single charge against him.

McComb, originally from the Lurgan area but with a proposed bail address at Ardnaskea Park in Coalisland, is accused of the manslaughter of Paul Gerard Curran last Thursday.

The body of the 29-year-old was discovered when paramedics were called to Manor Drive in Lurgan.

It is understood he suffered a head injury.

A man and woman, understood to be McComb’s girlfriend, arrested by police have been released pending reports to the PPS over allegations of assisting an offender.

In court on Monday a PSNI detective sergeant said she believed she could connect McComb to the offence, adding that police were objecting to him being freed on bail amid fears that he would reoffend, interfere with witnesses and the investigation or abscond.

The court heard that it is the police case that Mr Curran died as a result of a brain injury sustained when McComb allegedly punched him in the head, and that McComb then changed his bloodied clothing having fled the scene.

Defence solicitor Gabriel Ingram contended there was a doubt over how the injury was caused, revealing that Mr Curran had been assaulted the day before and had been so intoxicated he was “falling about the place” so could have injured himself a different way.

The officer maintained, however, that state pathologist Professor Jack Crane had given a preliminary verbal finding that Mr Curran would have died a short time after the injury was sustained.

Refusing to grant bail and remanding McComb into custody to appear at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court via video link on March 31, District Judge Rosie Watters said that in the basis of his “absolutely atrocious record,” she was concerned about further offending as well as having fears of witness interference and him fleeing.