Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland woman admits preventing burial of corpse

Angela Irwin arriving at Ballymena Courthouse
Angela Irwin arriving at Ballymena Courthouse

By Paul Higgins

A woman has admitted preventing the lawful burial of a corpse.

Standing in the dock of Antrim Crown Court wearing a green zip up fleece and flanked by prison staff, 54-year-old Angela Irwin entered a guilty plea to preventing the lawful burial of a corpse on a date between 13-22 November last year.

Irwin, with an address given as Holywell Hospital, also pleaded guilty to a further charge of fraud by false representation in that she ordered prescription medication from a GP “on the pretence that the medication was for the treatment of another, with intent to cause loss to the Northern Health and Social Services Trust.”

She denied however a third charge accusing her of forging a transfer of energy provider agreement.

None of the facts surrounding the charges were opened but previous courts have heard how the body of Robin McMaster was discovered in the bedroom of a flat on Devenagh Way in Ballymena.

When Irwin first appeared in court last November, a police officer said she was a suspect in a potential murder investigation following the death but police were awaiting the results of a post mortem examination.

On Tuesday defence counsel Stephen Law said he was “continuing to discuss matters” with the prosecution regarding the charge of forgery, submitting there is “some difficulty evidentially regarding the matter.”

He suggested reviewing the case this coming Monday and prosecuting counsel Michael Chambers agreed but further suggested that Judge Melody McReynolds fixes a trial date “lest we are unable to agree matters.”

He added that if the forgery allegation does go to trial, it would only take a day of evidence.

Listing the case for mention on 23 September, Judge McReynolds fixed the potential trial for 9 October.

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