Kyle Neil: Woman is charged with driving body from murder scene
A woman accused of assisting an alleged killer by driving him and his alleged victim away from the scene has been freed on bail.
Standing in the dock of Newtownards Magistrates Court flanked by prison guards, 25-year-old Stephanie Todd spoke only to confirm that she understood the two charges against her.
Todd, from Russell Court on Claremont Street in South Belfast, is accused of assisting an offender in that knowing or believing murder had been committed, she allegedly drove Wesley Harry Vance and the body of Kyle Neil "away from the scene" in order to impede Vance's "apprehension, arrest or prosecution" and a further charge of drink driving on the Windsor Road on April 12. On Tuesday at the same court, 26-year-old Vance, from Church Gate Studios in Comber, was charged with the murder of Mr Neil, a 23-year-old father-of-one, whose body was found in the boot of a car in south Belfast early on Sunday.
His defence solicitor Denis Moloney told the court Vance had admitted stabbing his friend but claimed he had acted in fear of his life. He said: "The defendant made full, frank, clear and open admissions with regards to his involvement in this tragedy."
Yesterday Detective Constable Adam Cook said he believed he could connect Todd to the charges and confirmed that throughout three days of police interviews, she had answered all questions but that "throughout she denied her involvement."
District Judge Mark Hamill heard that police had agreed to Todd being released on bail with multiple conditions.
Releasing Todd on bail of £1,000 with two sureties of £1,000 each, Judge Hamill also barred Todd from consuming alcohol, entering Comber and from contacting witnesses or her co-accused.
She was also ordered to report to police three times a week, to reside at an address approved by police, to observe a curfew from 8pm to 7am and was barred from applying for a passport.
After a prosecution lawyer suggested the case be adjourned for eight weeks, Judge Hamill ordered Todd to return to court on 10 June.
Vance is due to appear before the court via videolink on 8 May.