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Co Tyrone man faces fourth trial for unlawful killing of Co Monaghan teen Jason McGovern

By Michael Donnelly

Published 01/07/2015

Fatal blow: Jason McGovern
Fatal blow: Jason McGovern
The accused, Mark Donnelly

Co Tyrone man Mark Donnelly will be facing a fourth trial for the unlawful killing of Co Monaghan teenager Jason McGovern.

Prosecutor Simon Reid today (wed) told Dungannon Crown Court judge, Her Honour Judge McReynolds, simply that "the Crown is seeking a re-trial".

Although present in court, but not in the dock, the 23-year-old from Greencastle, between Omagh and Cookstown, was freed on continuing bail for a date to be fixed for this fourth trial. However the case will be reviewed again at the start of the new Crown Court term in September.

Donnelly will face the same manslaughter charge he has always denied of causing the unlawful death of 19-year-old Jason. He was found dead around midday on New Year's Eve 2012, in a friend's home in Mullan village, near Emyvale, in the Irish Republic.

Hours earlier Jason, described as a "peace-maker" had enjoyed a night out in Omagh, but unfortunately, and tragically, was floored and knocked unconscious in a one-punch assault just yards from the taxi waiting to take him and his friends home.

Only last month, the second of two juries failed to reach a verdict in the case in which Donnelly maintained he was an innocent, wrongly identified by flawed witnesses as being the man in the white shirt who threw that punch.

An earlier trial was aborted before the jury had even heard a word of evidence of how young Jason untimately died from a fractured skull which severed an artery causing bleeding to his brain.

No members of his extended family were present in court today (wed) for the decision to re-try his alleged attacker again.

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