Two women appear in court over elderly man's murder

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by Q Radio News

Two women have appeared at Derry Magistrate's Court today charged with the murder of a 75-year-old man in the city.

Sharon Harland (44) of Baltimore House in Derry and Rhona Gracey (33) of Coven Street in Belfast were both charged with the murder of Daniel Guyler on May 1 2019.

They were also charged with the robbery of £400 from Daniel Guyler on July 23 2018.

A police officer connected the women to the charges and opposed bail.

The court heard that on July 23 2018 police were called by the ambulance service after a badly injured man was found in the Termon Street area.

The man was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

The two women were arrested and charged and they appeared in court on July 25 2018 where it was decided to proceed by report.

On May 1 2019 Mr Guyler died in hospital and then on July 22 2020 the women were arrested for murder.

At interview Sharon Harland told police she could not remember that night and made no admissions.

Gracey made no comment.

Both women were said to have 'considerable records'.

Police opposed bail on the grounds there was a risk of re-offending and interference with witnesses.

An officer told the court Harland appeared to be familiar with a number of witnesses in the case describing them as 'druggies, alchos and losers'.

The officer said the defendant claimed the witnesses had 'had made all this up to get to her.'

Harland was alleged to have said to one witness 'are you going to tout?'

The court was also told there was forensic evidence linking them to the scene with blood from the victim being found on belongings.

Defence counsel for Hartland Sean Doherty said his client had issues with alcohol and substance abuse.

He said she was trying to turn her life around and was currently pregnant with her 6th child and was trying to prevent this child being taken into care.

He said most if the witnesses would be known to police and would not be under threat from Harland.

John Keown solicitor for Gracey said following the initial charge in 2018 his client had been recalled to prison and served an additional 12 months.

He told the court she was now residing in Belfast and would have no contact with witnesses.

Mr Keown said one of the issues coming up would be the cause of death of Mr Guyler which he said was bronchial pneumonia.

District Judge Ted Magill said both women had been at large since July 2018 and had not attempted to interfere with witnesses.

He said he was not satisfied either women was a danger of flight or re-offending and released them on bail.

He warned them they would be under police scrutiny and if they did not adhere to their bail they would be brought before the court.

He granted them bail to addresses approved by the PSNI with conditions they have no contact with witnesses and do not take any unproscribed drugs.

The prosecution in the case indicated they would be appealing against the decision to grant bail so the women will not be released until after that hearing.

The case was adjourned until August 20.

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