A 32-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Natalie McNally and has appeared in Lisburn Magistrates’ Court via video connection. On the 18th of December in 2022, Ms. McNally was stabbed at her home on Silverwood Green in Lurgan, Co. Armagh.
A man named Stephen McCullagh, who lives in Lisburn’s Woodland Gardens, was detained on Tuesday and formally charged the following day. He was brought before the Lisburn Magistrates’ Court but remained silent throughout. The judge, Rosemary Watters, stated that this was a complicated case and that if the police were correct, the attack had been both cold and well-planned.
She denied Mr. McCullagh’s bail request but indicated he may make such a request at the High Court in Belfast. On February 24th, he will make another appearance in Craigavon, this time by video connection. At today’s hearing, which was attended by Ms. McNally’s family, the leading Detective Chief Inspector testified that Mr. McCullagh had been arrested on 19 December, the day after the attack, and that he agreed with his defence counsel, Craig Patton BL, that it had been widely publicised afterwards that he was no longer a suspect.
The Detective Chief Inspector claimed that fresh evidence had surfaced on January 31 and ordered Mr. McCullagh’s re-arrest. Electronic and cyber evidence were included in this category, as well as video surveillance. He claimed that he saw a man on a Translink bus leaving from Kingsway in Dunmurry who was very careful to keep his hood down and his scarf up over his nose.
An professional investigation, he claimed, was required to determine the suspect’s identity. There were additional reports that a cab was called after the attack at Ms. McNally’s home on the 18th and sent in the direction of Mr. McCullagh’s home. The tape from Mr. McCullagh’s YouTube show on a video game was reportedly made accessible by the Detective Inspector on 18 December at 4 p.m.
During this time, he streamed a monologue but did not engage with his viewers via his phone. Since police now suspect this was prerecorded and then streamed, they want to investigate his computer and any related software.
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