Fatal Ballycastle road crash man on bail banned from entering town
A 20-year-old man charged in connection with a horror road smash in which two people died and several others were injured was released on bail at a court on Friday but banned from entering Ballycastle because "community tensions are very high".
Shane Kinney of Drones Road, Armoy, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving; seven charges of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving; perverting the course of justice and a number of other offences.
They include failing to report an accident and failing to remain at the scene.
He is also charged with drugs offences.
The charges relate to a collision on the Cushendall Road, Ballycastle, in the early hours of April 6 this year when Johnny Black (19) from Ballycastle and Robin Wilson (26) from Armoy, died.
Clodagh Arbuckle (18) from Ballycastle was left with brain injuries, the court was told.
PSNI officer Michael McNeill said he believed he could connect the accused to 18 charges.
District Judge Liam NcNally ruled there was enough evidence to do so and rejected an application to the contrary regarding some of the charges from a defence solicitor.
Constable McNeill said at 3.41am on Monday April 6 this year police received a report of a fatal road traffic collision at Cushendall Road, Ballycastle, involving two vehicles at the scene - a Volkswagen Bora in which Robin Wilson was going to towards Ballycastle and a Peugeot car containing Johnny Black going towards Ballyvoy.
The constable said police investigations led them to believe a third vehicle was involved, a blue Volkswagen Golf, which was identified as belonging to Kinney through its registration number.
He said the suspect presented himself voluntarily at Coleraine Police Station on April 8 and made a no comment interview and afterwards presented his car for inspection and no damage was found.
The officer said police believe parts were stolen from a car dismantlers yard in Armoy which were fitted on the vehicle and forensics later matched the parts on Kinney's car to a car in the yard.
He said witnesses place Kinney at the scene of the accident with damage to his car but that he then left the scene.
The policeman said witnesses said Kinney's parents recovered the car on the evening of April 6.
The officer said another witness saw Kinney and the deceased, Robin Wilson, at Hunter's Bar, Ballyvoy.
The officer said Kinney was arrested on Tuesday of this week and said he was objecting to bail because "community tension is very high in the Ballycastle area" as two young men are dead and a young girl has received "permanent brain injuries".
He said police had concern for the safety of Kinney.
The officer said Kinney's girlfriend had been with him at the time of the alleged incident and had been arrested on Tuesday but released pending further enquiries.
The defence solicitor said a witness at Ballyvoy said she heard noise and assumed that was the acceleration of both Robin Wilson and Kinney's cars.
He said there was a statement from a middle-aged couple who said they saw a Bora vehicle overtaking them on a "blind bend" and travelling at "significant speed".
The solicitor said his client's account is that he was driving towards Ballycastle and saw a car approaching from behind and then saw another car driving towards him.
He said he believed that a car hit his wing mirror and as he turned back he came across the accident.
The solicitor said the case against Kinney was based on "innuendo and assumptions".
Applying for bail he said Kinney is content to stay out of Ballycastle.
Releasing Kinney on bail of £1,000 along with a surety for £5,000, District Judge McNally banned him from entering Ballycastle and ordered him to surrender his passport and driving licence.
Kinney is also banned from being in the driver's seat or front passenger seat of any vehicle.
The case was adjourned to the same court on July 27.