Christopher Mackin murder: Woman 'prayed' over gun attack victim
A woman who came to the aid of a gun attack victim and prayed over him as he lay dying on a Belfast city centre street has been praised by a judge.
Christopher Mackin, 31, was shot at least seven times outside his College Square North home on 1 March 2012.
The woman was to be “congratulated”, the judge said, and her actions would be of “comfort” to Mr Mackin’s family.
She was giving evidence at Belfast Crown Court in the trial of a husband and wife accused of Mr Mackin’s murder.
Charles Stephen Valliday, 45, and 41-year-old Julie Ann Valliday, both with addresses in Islay Street in Antrim, deny murder.
‘Lull between gunfire’
The woman said that after putting her coat over Mr Mackin she slipped her “right hand under his cheek to keep his chin off the ground”, while she prayed into his ear as blood poured from his wounds.
She told the court she initially thought the noise of the gunfire “was children’s’ fireworks”, but she soon discovered that it had been “two bursts of gunfire” and there had been “a lull in between”.
On looking out her window, she said she “saw nothing”, adding: “It was eerily quiet.”
She went outside and saw “a man on the ground lying on his right side as if he was in the recovery position”.
The woman said that as she asked him for his name she noticed “his eye-lids were very heavy – he was blinking very fast, then very slowly”.
She continued to ask for his name, and the victim, “as if angry”, shouted out: “Christopher Mackin.”
‘Act of contrition’
As she did that, another woman was rubbing his back, but he told her to stop because it was hurting him.
That woman then told her that the man was “losing lots of blood” and asked her to “say an act of contrition”, which she did, along with other prayers.
Other neighbours also told the court that they also initially thought the noise of the gunfire had been caused by fireworks.
The prosecution claims the shots were fired from a self-loading pistol, which has never been found.
In addition to the murder charge, Mr and Mrs Valliday also deny possessing a revolver, ammunition and a £70,000 haul of cocaine and heroin drugs found hidden in a car said to belong to Mrs Valliday.
Her husband’s DNA was later found on the revolver and on bags containing the class A drugs.
Mr Valliday’s brother James John Valliday, 51, of Springfield Meadows in Belfast, is accused of but denies assisting offenders after the shooting.
The trial, which is expected to last up to six weeks, continues.
Source: BBC News – Northern Ireland