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Man who killed friend in drunken road accident is remanded in custody

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 01/07/2016

Police cordon off crash scene
Police cordon off crash scene

A 23-year-old man who killed his friend in a drunken car crash on the outskirts of Belfast then fled the scene in a state of panic has been remanded in custody.

Ciaran Paul Ferris-Farrelly drank 10 cans of Harp lager and a shot of Goldschlager before taking his father's car in a bid to obtain more drink.

Ferris-Farrelly - who at the time of the fatal crash held a provisional licence - lost control of the Peugeot 406 estate on the Upper Springfield Road.

His friend John Paul McShane "violently" exited the car and died at the scene.

After causing the crash Ferris-Farrelly fled, but attended a police station later that day. He told police that he would have to live with the fact he killed his friend for the rest of his life.

The father-of-one, from Lagmore View in Dunmurry, appeared in Belfast Crown Court where he admitted four charges arising from the fatal smash.

Ferris-Farrelly admitted aggravated vehicle taking causing the death of Mr McShane (18), as well as failing to report an accident, driving with no insurance and driving with excess alcohol. Crown prosecutor Peter Magill revealed the incident occurred on the morning of June 22, 2014, following a house party.

Ferris-Farrelly's parents were in Dublin, and in their absence he held a party in the family home. Drink was consumed, and at around 7am someone suggested going and getting more alcohol.

Ferris-Farrelly then took his father's Peugeot, and while he drove the car Mr McShane sat in the back with a third man in the front seat. The trio left Lagmore in the car to go looking for an off licence, but were unsuccessful. As the car was being driven along the Upper Springfield Road, Ferris-Farrelly lost control at a bend which caused the front of the car to smash into a telegraph pole.

Mr Magill said that while the front-seat passenger was thrown into the back seat, Mr McShane was "thrown from the vehicle because the back window smashed and the back door opened".

It was a violent exit from the vehicle and it seems almost certain that he died instantly."

After listening to submissions from both the Crown and defence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC remanded Ferris-Farrelly in custody and said he would pass sentence next Wednesday.

Belfast Telegraph

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