The man accused of murdering journalist Lyra McKee is alleged to have committed a joint enterprise with an unknown gunman by picking up the cases of the bullets used to kill her, a court has heard.

Paul McIntyre, 52, was remanded in custody at Londonderry Magistrates' Court on Thursday after appearing charged with the murder of the journalist last April.

During a 50-minute hearing, defence lawyer Derwin Harvey said: "The allegation against Mr McIntyre is that Mr McIntyre is at this riot and a male shoots the gun and that Mr McIntyre, after the gun was shot, picks up the cases."

The court heard a lengthy defence submission applying for bail, but the judge adjourned the hearing until he received further information from prosecution about the evidence linking McIntyre to the charges.

Lyra McKee was shot dead while observing rioting in Londonderry. Credit: PA

Mr Harvey said the case rested on a "snapshot" of low-quality mobile phone footage which the prosecution claims showed a man wearing clothing matching what his client was wearing earlier in the day.

McIntyre will next appear in court on February 27.

Ms McKee was shot dead by dissident republicans while observing rioting in Londonderry in April.

The 29-year-old was standing near a police vehicle when she was hit by a bullet fired by a masked gunman towards officers.

Ms McKee was a gay rights activist. Credit: PA

Ms McKee was a gay rights activist and an articulate advocate of a new and more tolerant Northern Ireland - she was part of the generation which reached adulthood during peace time.

She wrote for publications including Private Eye and Buzzfeed.

In a statement on Wednesday, Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: "I have always said a number of individuals were involved with the gunman on the night Lyra was killed, and while today is significant for the investigation the quest for the evidence to bring the gunman to justice remains active and ongoing."

Crowds turned out at the funeral for the writer. Credit: PA

Supporters of the 52-year-old gathered outside court holding placards saying McIntyre is a "political hostage" and a "British scapegoat", and scuffled with up to 40 police officers as they refused to move from the entrance to the court.

There were loud cheers as McIntyre was brought out of a Range Rover and taken into the court building.