Belfast Telegraph

Woman to stand trial over motorcyclist's road death

By Paul Higgins

A Coleraine woman is to stand trial accused of killing a motorcyclist by careless driving.

Katriona Kearney (27) appeared at Antrim Magistrates Court yesterday where she was charged with the death of 42-year-old biker Eamon Farrelly.

Kearney is accused of causing the death of Mr Farrelly by driving carelessly on the Ballymena Road off-slip of the M2 motorway on July 8, 2013.

The victim, from Belfast, died as a result of injuries he received in a three-vehicle collision involving his motorbike, a lorry and allegedly Kearney's car at the Dunsilly off-slip on the northbound lane of the motorway.

Kearney, from Westbourne Crescent in Coleraine, confirmed her name and also that she understood the single charge against her.

Although no facts of the case were opened before district judge Alan White, a prosecution lawyer submitted that on the basis of the legal papers, there was a case for Kearney to answer.

As her defence solicitor had no contrary submissions, Judge White said he was satisfied the case should be sent to the Crown Court for trial.

Kearney was told by the court clerk that she had the right to give evidence herself or to call witnesses on her behalf but that anything that was said would be written down and given in evidence.

The defendant declined to do either.

Releasing Kearney on her own bail of £300 and granting legal aid to include one barrister, Judge White ordered her to appear before Antrim Crown Court on May 7 for arraignment.

Her solicitor applied for legal aid to be extended to include a senior QC, but the judge refused the application, commenting that "an experienced junior counsel would be more than experienced enough to deal with the issues".

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