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Arlene Arkinson inquest 'should finish within two weeks'

Published 05/05/2016

The Arlene Arkinson inquest should be completed within two weeks, a lawyer said
The Arlene Arkinson inquest should be completed within two weeks, a lawyer said

The Arlene Arkinson inquest should be finished within two weeks, a barrister told the coroner.

Former and current detectives are still due to give evidence to the badly-delayed proceedings into the disappearance of the Co Tyrone teenager in 1994.

Around 30 days of evidence have been heard but the hearing was adjourned recently because of a legal matter which had just come to light. Much of Thursday's hearing was held in closed session to discuss the issue.

Coroner Brian Sherrard said: "Inevitably there is going to be a certain amount of stopping and starting."

He told counsel in the case he would not rush them into something they were not ready to proceed with.

Barrister for the coroner Frank O'Donohue QC said the inquest would sit next Monday and Tuesday and again the following week.

"That should conclude the inquest."

Arlene, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, disappeared on August 13 1994, as she returned to her Castlederg home from a disco in Donegal. Her body has never been found.

Chief suspect Robert Howard was acquitted of her murder in 2005 by a jury which was not told of his conviction for killing a south London teenager several years earlier. He died in prison last year.

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