Belfast Telegraph

Sectarian killer accused of going on run also facing three drugs charges

By Paul Higgins

A prosecution file against a sectarian child murderer who escaped prison officers while on day release is near completion, a court has heard.

A prosecuting lawyer told Antrim Magistrates Court that the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) was seeking a four-week adjournment to the case of Christopher Kerr, by which stage the file would be ready to be directed upon.

Kerr (32) is in custody facing four charges of escaping lawful custody while on day release on June 21.

Kerr, listed as having an address at Carnduff Drive in Ballymena, is also accused of three drug offences - that he had class A cocaine and class C drugs diazepam and Xanax on the same date, and class B drug cannabis resin on June 22.

The offences arise after Kerr allegedly ran away from prison officers in Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast while out on temporary release.

He was arrested at Antrim Area Hospital the following day.

Kerr is currently serving a life term for the sectarian attack that claimed the life of 15-year-old Catholic schoolboy Michael McIlveen.

The teenager was kicked and beaten with a baseball in an alleyway after being chased by a loyalist gang in his home town of Ballymena in May 2006.

The teenager, known to his friends and family as 'Micky Bo', died from brain injuries inflicted during the assault.

Mervyn Moon, who pleaded guilty to murder and is from Douglas Terrace in Ballymena, was jailed for a minimum of 10 years.

The prosecution outlined how the schoolboy died "solely as a consequence of the blows issued by Mervyn Moon with the baseball bat".

It was Kerr, the murder jury heard, who handed Moon the bat.

Although Michael was murdered in 2006, Kerr was not convicted until 2009 following a lengthy trial. At the sentencing hearing Mr Justice Treacey jailed killer Kerr for a minimum of 13 years.

The Court of Appeal quashed Kerr's conviction, however, and ordered a retrial.

It sat for three days in April 2013 before he admitted his guilt in the murder.

Trial judge Mr Justice Weatherup imposed another life sentence and jailed Kerr for a minimum of nine years.

Acceding to the prosecution application yesterday, District Judge Nigel Broderick remanded Kerr back into custody.

He will appear again at the end of this month.

Belfast Telegraph

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