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Ex-policewoman Eilish MacSherry admits to drink driving in death of Paul Mills

By Michael Donnelly

A 41-year-old former Co Tyrone policewoman pleaded guilty to causing the death of a 49-year-old father of two on the outskirts of Omagh last October by dangerous and drunken driving.

Eilish MacSherry from Brookmount Heights, Omagh, was an off-duty policewoman at the time of the fatal smash which claimed the life of Paul Mills on October 10 last year.

MacSherry, who as since left the PSNI, pleaded guilty to a total of four charges at Omagh Crown Court, sitting in Dungannon on Friday.

They included being involved in an hit and run accident at the same location earlier that same day.  It was the first charge of dangerously on the Clanabogan Road, that she admitted.

Watching from the public gallery, along with family and friends, was Mr Mills' widow, Anne, who wept, as MacSherry then admitted dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Mills, from Glenside, Killyclogher.

MacSherry contiued with her guilty pleas, admitting she failed to stop at the scene of an injury accident, and finally that while driving on the Clanabogan Road she was unfit through drink or drugs.

Defence QC Frank O'Donoghue said that "alcohol dependency is a feature of this case" but that his client "has been dry since this accident happened."

He added the sentencing guidelines in cases such as the former policewoman were a matter of record and that she was under "no illusions" in relation to these.

Judge Neil Rafferty QC told MacSherry that she should be in no doubt the offences to which she had just pleaded guilty were serious and that she faced a "signficant custodial sentence".

“The offences have had a devastating impact, as they always do, on the family involved and you should be in no doubt that a significant custodial sentence is inevitable,” he added.

Prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy said a victim impact statement would be obtained from the Mills' family before sentencing on 3 February 2017, when a summary of the facts would be presented to the court.

No details of the tragic events of that Saturday in October were given during today's short 10-minute hearing, but at the time of the fatal crash it was reported that MacSherry's Saab Vector car and the Toyota Yaris of Mr Mills were involved in a collision on the Dromore Road on the outskirts of Omagh.

Although rushed to hospital, Mr Mills died from his injuries.

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