A judge has stopped the trial of two men and a woman in connection with the sectarian murder of a man by a loyalist mob in Northern Ireland.

Robert Hamill, a Catholic, was beaten by the gang in Portadown, Co Armagh, in April 1997.

The 25-year-old never regained consciousness and died in hospital.

District Judge Eamonn King said the evidence provided to the court was insufficient to put the accused on trial.

A Courts and Tribunals Service statement said: "In giving judgment District Judge King found that the evidence provided to the court was not sufficient to put the accused on trial."