Assault case against Antrim man Joel Hawthorn may proceed despite death
The prosecution case against two Co Antrim men accused of serious assault could still go ahead as scheduled despite their alleged victim dying, a court has heard.
Joel Hawthorn (21), from Bardic Drive in Larne, is accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Connor Murray.
Mr Murray (23) died last Wednesday, five days after falling into a fast-flowing river the previous Friday, May 4. Hawthorn's co-accused, 21-year-old Jordan Brown, from Hillview Road in Carrick, is charged with causing Mr Murray actual bodily harm and having a knife with intent on September 13 last year.
At Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday, a prosecuting lawyer revealed there "has been a development" in the case in that "unfortunately, the injured party passed away".
She added, however, that a directing officer from the Public Prosecution Service had spoken to Mr Murray's family and that the prosecution "may well proceed".
On Wednesday, family and friends gathered to say a final farewell at a service at Ballycraigy Methodist Church in Larne, and later at Roselawn crematorium in Belfast.
In court yesterday, District Judge Nigel Broderick said he would review the case in four weeks.