Belfast Telegraph

'Boy racer' who killed two and parents who tried to cover up for him await sentencing

By Michael Donnelly

Motorist Shane Kinney, who caused the death of his cousin and a second man in a triple car smash in April 2015 in which seven others were injured, will face the "nightmare jail sentence" he has feared.

His parents Kevin and Sharon Kinney, who tried to cover up his involvement in the tragedy, were freed on continuing bail until Tuesday while Judge Desmond Marrinan decides on what sentence all three will receive.

Their son (23) was remanded in custody.

Judge Marrinan told Antrim Crown Court that given the complexity of the case, he wanted to consider all he had heard.

The crash on the Cushandall Road on the outskirts of Ballycastle in the early hours of April 6, 2015, resulted in the death of Kinney's 26-year-old cousin Robin Wilson, against whom he was racing, and a second man, 19-year-old Johnny Black, who had been driving towards the seaside town. Kinney is awaiting sentence for causing their deaths by dangerous driving and causing grievous bodily injury to Clodagh Arbuckle and Denise Dunlop.

Kinney, along with his 50-year-old mother and 52-year-old father, all from Drones Road, Armoy, face charges of perverting the course of public justice arising out of the aftermath of the fatal pile-up.

Mrs Kinney faces sentencing for removing her son's VW Golf along with her husband, who also admits a similar offence by "obtaining parts for a VW Golf from a breakers yard in Armoy".

Reading from a set of agreed facts, prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy said initially Robin Wilson's VW Bora was seen driving at around 5mph by a married couple who passed him on the road, only for the vehicle to then overtake them "at high speed", at about 75 to 80mph.

He added that as he raced forward he clipped the back of Kinney's Golf, and then possibly veered into the path of Mr Black's car, and "there was an explosive collision". The prosecution barrister said as a result the Peugeot 207 of Mr Black, who died at the scene, was wrecked, while that of Mr Wilson, who later died in hospital, was left balanced in a hedge.

The court heard that Kinney later drove his car, its back bumper hanging off, to a nearby lay-by, where it was picked up later that morning by his parents.

The lawyer said as a result of the smash others suffered traumatic injuries and "their happy lives were turned upside down by this catastrophic incident".

In his defence submissions for Kinney, Eugene Grant QC placed the blame squarely on the desire of some young men to drive at speed.

However, Mr Grant said that "no words of mine can begin to compensate for the pain, suffering and grief surrounding the case".

The lawyer said that since the incident Kinney had been left "for some time now in fear, not just of a prison cell, but also a fear that the shame for what occured will fall on him and only him and he will forever be stigmatised in the Glens of Antrim".

Mr Grant said the courts were not dealing with a hardline and brazen individual, but a young man who elected to do the right thing and face up to the charges against him.

Now, added Mr Grant, Kinney "faces at the age of 23 the nightmare of prison, and he recognises that".

Mr Arthur Harvey QC, for Kinney's father Kevin, said he had been acting initially to save his son at a time when he had no reason to believe he was involved in causing the accident.

However, at no time did those actions impede the investigation of police, who were well aware a third vehicle had been involved.

But Mr Harvey accepted that he should have come forward once he had become aware of what had happened on the day of the tragedy.

The lawyer added that his instructions were also quite clear in that he "deeply regrets" all that he had done and also that he "accepts that he was totally responsible for getting his wife involved".

David McDowell QC, for Sharon Kinney, said she too wished to apologise for the trauma caused to all involved, and in particular to Mr Wilson's mother, revealling that "a wedge" had been driven between them.

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