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Death drive case may be thrown out over delays, warns judge

By Nevin Farrell

Published 17/08/2016

Charged: Shane Kinney
Charged: Shane Kinney

A judge has warned he will throw out an alleged death by dangerous driving case if prosecutors are not ready to proceed.

District Judge Liam McNally was speaking at Coleraine Magistrates Court regarding Shane Kinney (22), of Drones Road, Armoy, who is accused in connection with a horror collision at Easter 2015 in which two young people were killed and seven others injured.

A preliminary enquiry - the legal move to send the case to the Crown Court - was due to be heard at the court on August 26 but a prosecutor said: "Unfortunately we are going to have to vacate that date".

She confirmed a file has been directed on the charges and it was a matter of finalising the paperwork.

She said the directing officer in the case is on annual leave.

The prosecutor said a "definitive" new date for the preliminary enquiry will be set on August 26.

A defence lawyer said the slow progress in the case is "not entirely satisfactory".

Judge McNally said prosecutors were going to have to concentrate on the case as it was now over a year since it first came to court.

He said if there is no progress from prosecutors by August 26 he will fix a date for the preliminary enquiry which will be "locked in stone" and if that is not met he will "discharge the defendants".

Shane Kinney is charged with causing the death of Johnny Black (19) from Ballycastle and Robin Wilson (26) from Armoy by dangerous driving on April 6, 2015 at Cushendall Road, Ballycastle.

He is further charged with causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving to Clodagh Arbuckle, Robert Kirkpatrick, Eamon McKeague, Tom Gault, Ciara McHugh, Denise Dunlop and Patrick Neeson.

He is further charged with failing to report an accident and remain at the scene of an accident.

The accused is further charged with handing stolen goods - a rear bumper and boot lid of a Volkswagen Golf; obstructing a police officer; intent to pervert the course of justice by making a false statement to police in relation to ownership of a mobile phone which had been used after a fatal road traffic collision; conspiring with his parents to pervert the course of justice by removing a Volkswagen Golf allegedly involved in a fatal road traffic collision; and assisting alleged offenders in the theft of a bumper and boot lid.

All the above charges were in connection with April 6, 2015.

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