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Jury sworn in for 'frenzied' knife murder trial

By John Cassidy

Published 24/05/2016

Victim Kyle Neil
Victim Kyle Neil
Murder accused Wesley Harry Vance

A jury has been sworn in to hear the trial of a man accused of murdering Kyle Neil in Co Down last year.

A judge told the panel of six men and six women sitting at Downpatrick Crown court that the case is expected to last up to four weeks.

On trial is Wesley Harry Vance (27), formerly of Church Gate Studios in Comber.

He denies murdering Mr Neil (23) at a house at Mill Street, Comber, on April 12 last year.

It is alleged Mr Neil sustained multiple knife wounds in the attack which was described by police at the time as "frenzied".

His remains were allegedly then placed in the boot of a Ford Fiesta car which was found abandoned in Windsor Road, South Belfast, in the early hours of April 12, 2015.

Also in the dock was co-accused Stephanie Todd (26), from Russell Court in Belfast.

She denies a charge of assisting offenders by allegedly driving the Fiesta car with Mr Neil's body in the boot from Mill Street, Comber, to Windsor Road in Belfast. Todd also denies driving the car at the time with excess alcohol.

The court was told that "a large number of witnesses, both civilian, police and expert" would be called to give evidence.

Mr Justice Colton told the jury: "At all times throughout this trial, these defendants are innocent. You will only decide the case when you have heard all the evidence."

The trial judge also cautioned members of the jury against speaking to any family members or friends about the trial they are sitting on.

Mr Justice Colton warned: "It is also an important factor that you should not do any research on this case either on the internet or on Facebook. Just decide this case on what your hear, what you read and what you see."

The jury were released for the day and told to return this morning for the start of the trial.

Belfast Telegraph

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