Belfast Telegraph

Shock in court as motorist admits that he caused death of teen jogger Lesley-Anne McCarragher

By Staff Reporter

A teenager has dramatically changed his plea just a month after previously denying involvement in the hit-and-run death of Co Armagh teenager Lesley-Anne McCarragher.

It further emerged the defendant has since had his bail revoked following a breach of conditions earlier this month.

Nathan Finn (19) had been on bail to reside at Keady Road, Armagh but was remanded in custody after bail was revoked.

This was following a breach on January 4 and since then he had been held at Hydebank Young Offenders Centre.

In the dock of Newry Crown Court yesterday, Finn admitted causing Ms McCarragher's death by dangerous driving, and while having no licence or insurance.

She was jogging along the Monaghan Road, Armagh on April 9, 2016, when she was struck by Finn's car. He drove off without stopping.

Despite being airlifted to hospital Ms McCarragher died of her injuries. She was just 19 - the same age as Finn is now.

Finn's confessions were unexpected and Ms McCarragher's family had not attended court, as they understood the case was just for mention.

Proceedings were stayed for a time, to allow them to be present to hear Finn plead guilty.

Pre-sentence reports have been ordered for March 2, and Finn remains in custody.

Last year, Finn reacted furiously when he was named in the press, having previously had his identity withheld as the offences were committed as a youth.

After turning 18, that rule no longer applied, but a defence solicitor incorrectly argued the media had no right to name him and remonstrated with reporters outside the court. He sought an anonymity order, contending that his client had been threatened - a claim which was not substantiated.

The media were prepared to challenge the bid, but the application was unsuccessful - the naming of a person by the media in these circumstances after turning 18, was in fact lawful.

The case against Finn's co-accused, Damien Paul McCann (30) of Monaghan Road, Armagh is ongoing. He pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving last month and is remanded on continuing bail.

McCann was arrested last October after handing himself in amid attempts to locate him.

Police had been seeking him since last July.

At the time his lawyer stressed he had made a statement to police and believed he was only a witness.

Belfast Telegraph

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