Eamonn MacDermott

Years in prison:
Year of crime:
Year conviction was overturned:

Raymond McCartney and Eamonn MacDermott were convicted of the murder of Jeff Agate and Special Branch detective Patrick McNulty. Traces of antimony were found on McCartney’s palm and clothes when he was arrested. However, the judge made it clear that the crown case rested entirely upon statements of admission. The prosecution said that McCartney made written statements amounting to admissions to both murders. McCartney claimed he did not make any verbal admissions and the two statements attributed to him were concocted by police officers and he did not make them. He claimed he had been ill treated and a medical examination suggested he had been assaulted. MacDermott also made admissions but claimed that these had been dictated to him by police and that he had been abused and threatened. On appeal, it came to light that another witness who had initially been accused of the crime but who charges had been dropped against alleged that he had been assaulted at every interview. Another man had also brought a private prosecution against the officers in question, alleging assault (although the officers were acquitted on the basis this could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt). The court concluded that they could not rule out the possibility that this evidence discredited the police officers in the case. The appeal was therefore allowed.

View Press (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk)

View Press (www.irishtimes.com)

< Back to Case Search < Back to Overview Graph
  • Offence: Murder
  • Jurisdiction: Northern Ireland
  • County: Londonderry 
  • Ethnicity: Unknown
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 15
  • Offence convicted of: Murder; belonging to a proscribed organisation
  • Year of crime: 1977
  • Year of initial conviction: 1979
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2007
  • Age when imprisoned: 19
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: Y
  • Link to full case: https://www.bailii.org/nie/cases/NIHC/QB/2007/10.html
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence casting doubt on the integrity of police
  • Compensation: Yes
  • Link to compensation: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2010-0046-judgment.pdf
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Yes
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: Unsuccessful appeal in 1982