Belfast Telegraph

Mairead McCallion family left in shock after case collapses

By Claire Williamson

The sister of a woman who died earlier this year has said that seeing the case collapse against a man charged with her murder has brought back all the sorrow of her death.

Mairead McCallion was found with head injuries at a house in Castleview Court in Omagh in February this year and rushed to the Erne Hospital.

The 36-year-old died a day later.

Mairead's former partner, Noel Knox (50), was charged with her murder and appeared in court yesterday.

During a brief hearing at Omagh Magistrates Court, the prosecution said it was dropping the murder charge against the man from Knockshee Park in the town.

In a statement, the Public Prosecution Service said: "We have carefully considered all available evidence and consider that this does not meet the test for prosecution.

"In this case, there were particular concerns about the inconclusive aspect of the expert medical evidence."

Mairead's grieving family have said the collapse of the case has "compounded their grief".

Her sister Patricia O'Brien said: "It's a very hard thing. It's back as painful as it was the day she died.

"That gutwrenching sorrow is back. It's just awful for us. We are just in absolute bewilderment that this has happened.

"We were so, so sure that this was something that would have gone for trial and we would have seen justice for Mairead but it's not going to be the case now.

"We are just stumped by it."

Mrs O'Brien said it was "very hard to be hopeful" for justice for her sister.

She said: "Mairead deserved justice and certainly if there is anything that we as a family can do to ensure that she gets justice through the courts we will pursue that. She can never be replaced. There is a big gap now in our family and everyone is still grieving."

Police said the case was under review and inquiries were continuing.

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