Belfast Telegraph

Portadown man accused of murder faces trial next spring

Amanda O’Riordan
Amanda O’Riordan
Newry murder victim Brian Phelan with his partner Amanda O’Riordan

By Ashleigh McDonald

A 28-year-old man has been told he will stand trial next spring for the murder of Bessbrook man Brian Phelan.

The father-of-two died from stab wounds. He was found on the Carrivekeeney Road on the outskirts of Newry last summer.

Daniel Martin James Carroll from Edward Street in Portadown appeared in court yesterday, where he denied murdering the 33-year-old on July 26 last year.

Carroll appeared in the dock of Newry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, where he spoke to confirm his name. When the murder charge was put to him, Carroll replied "not guilty".

As Mr Phelan's loved ones sat in the public gallery, it emerged that the trial is set to commence on March 2, 2020, and is expected to last three to four weeks.

Defence barrister Mark Mulholland QC told Mr Justice Colton he would be instructing experts, adding that the defence would be supplying a "provisional list" of witnesses to the Public Prosecution Service within the week.

Crown barrister Neil Connor said there were "quite a number of elderly witnesses giving evidence".

He also revealed other witnesses included children, who were "occupants of the house where the body of the deceased was found".

Concerns were raised about the venue for the trial, with Mr Justice Colton said could be determined at a later date.

After being told by Mr Mulholland there was no application for bail being made, the judge said: "The defendant can be returned to custody."

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