Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Motorist admits killing teenager in road crash

Road tragedy: Adele Whiteside (left) was killed in a fatal crash in 2007. Michael Thomas McDonnell (right) received a suspended sentence for the death

A man has admitted killing a 14-year-old schoolgirl by dangerous driving in a fatal crash just over two years ago.

On the day his trial was due to begin at Belfast Crown Court, lawyers for 20-year-old Martin Thomas McDonnell, from Garnock in Belfast, asked for him to be rearraigned and he then admitted killing Adele Whiteside by dangerous driving on September 15, 2007.

The charge arose after the 14-year-old was knocked down and killed on Finaghy Road South as she walked home from a wedding.

Defence lawyer Richard Green asked trial Judge Geoffrey Miller to adjourn passing sentence until pre-sentence probation and other reports had been compiled, an application echoed by prosecuting QC Frank O'Donoghue who told the court they would be lodging victim impact reports from Adele's family.

Judge Miller released McDonnell on bail and after ordering the various reports told the court he would sentence the killer driver in November.

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