Belfast Telegraph

Hit-and-run accused Nathan Finn loses anonymity bid

By Staff Reporter

This is the first image of the man accused of causing the death of a young Northern Ireland woman.

Nathan Finn is charged with causing Lesley-Ann McCarragher's death in April 2016 by dangerous driving, and while not having a licence or insurance.

In his first appearance in court since being identified, Finn sought anonymity on the grounds of an alleged death threat against him.

A defence solicitor made an unsuccessful attempt to suppress the accused's identity.

The lawyer remonstrated with journalists, claiming they should not be in court or reporting on the case. This was factually incorrect.

Earlier this week 18-year-old Finn, of Keady Road, Armagh, was identified for the first time after reporting restrictions no longer applied.

Having first appeared in court as a youth, he was granted bail and then remanded in custody for a time at his own request.

He was later readmitted to bail, but throughout these proceedings he could not be named due to his age.

Court papers show him as being remanded on very strict bail and facing committal proceedings to formally transfer his case to trial.

At the time of his first appearance in court, police said they were searching for another person whom they believed Finn may have been racing on the Monaghan Road in Armagh.

A witness said they observed two vehicles - one being a white Saab allegedly driven by Finn - which appeared to be racing each other.

This car undertook another vehicle on the hard shoulder and struck 19-year old Lesley-Ann as she was jogging.

She was airlifted to hospital but passed away from her injuries.

It has now been confirmed a second person is also to be prosecuted with causing Lesley-Ann's death by dangerous driving.

Finn's case was listed for a committal hearing but this has now been adjourned to Armagh Magistrates Court on August 15 to link with the second accused.

The defence solicitor sought to have Finn granted anonymity, claiming a death threat had been issued.

However, the judge refused, stating that his identity is already in the public domain.

The application did not appear to be supported by the PSNI, who would have been required to provide evidence of a live threat in an anonymity bid.

Following this, Finn left by a side entrance to avoid the Press.

Members of Lesley Ann's family attended court for the hearing and quietly left after learning the case was being adjourned.

It was the first time they have seen Finn or attended a court hearing.

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