Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Mum denies ‘son told her about killing neighbour’

A mother has denied that she failed to tell police that her son had allegedly confessed to her that he had murdered his neighbour.



Standing in the dock of Antrim Crown Court, sitting in Belfast yesterday, dressed in a black trouser suit, 62-year-old Eleanor McAuley pleaded not guilty to the charge of withholding information.

Ms McAuley, from The Roddens in Larne, is charged that on a date between November 2 and 9 in 2008 she failed to tell police that her son Troy had confessed to her that he had murdered his neighbour, power station worker Kenneth Nicholl.

Troy McAuley (37), from Herbert Avenue, also Larne, is in custody awaiting trial for Mr Nicholl's murder. He denies the offence.

On November 9, the body of the 29-year-old father-of-one was found in an alleyway off Herbert Avenue.

Mr Nicholl had been on a night out with friends. His bloodied body was discovered the following morning with several stab wounds.

Speaking at the time, police said that he had suffered a particularly violent death.

Detective Inspector Jonathan Roberts said: “Kenneth Nicholl, a local man, lived with his partner and son.

“He was in full-time employment and appears to have been a family man.”

The horrific murder in 2008 sent shockwaves through the town of Larne.

Yesterday prosecution lawyer Neil Connor said the Crown were “ready for trial” but defence QC Bara McGrory said the defence investigations were not yet completed.

Mr Justice Hart released the 62-year-old on continuing bail.

The case will be reviewed in November.

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