Slain teen's sister is accused of attacking one of murder gang
A sister of murdered Ballymena schoolboy Michael McIlveen has appeared in court alongside her brother and uncle charged with common assault on one of the teenager's killers.
Jodie Donegan (28), of Dunclug Gardens in the Co Antrim town, faces one charge of common assault on Aaron Wallace on May 13 last year after an incident in Antrim town.
Wallace, from Ballymena, was one of a gang that chased Michael McIlveen, a Catholic, through Ballymena in 2006.
Wallace previously pleaded guilty to murder.
Michael McIlveen (15) was struck on the head after being pursued into an alleyway.
One of the gang had a baseball bat. Mr McIlveen later died from brain injuries inflicted during the assault.
At yesterday's court in Ballymena, Jodie Donegan's solicitor said the defendant was only served with the common assault summons two weeks ago.
Donegan's brother, Andrew James Sean Smyth (19) is charged with possessing an offensive weapon, namely a large hunting knife, on May 13, 2017.
Smyth - an apprentice butcher whose address was given as Stranraer in Scotland, but who is originally from Ballymena - is also charged with assaulting Wallace and assaulting his father Thomas on the same date.
Donegan's uncle, Sean Joseph Patrick McIlveen (45), a crane driver of Devenagh Way, Ballymena, faces charges of assaulting Aaron and Thomas Wallace; making a threat to kill Aaron Wallace and resisting a police officer, all on May 13.
All three accused appeared in court yesterday for a preliminary enquiry, the legal step to send their cases to the Crown Court.
A prosecutor submitted there was a case to answer and defence lawyers had no contrary submissions.
The trio did not wish to say anything in relation to the charges.
District Judge Greg McCourt said there was a case to answer and returned them to Antrim Crown Court for arraignment in February before releasing them on bail.
As part of their bail, McIlveen and Smyth are not to enter Antrim town and are to have no contact with the alleged victims.
Donegan was also released on £500 bail but has no conditions.
McIlveen's defence lawyer told the court the case "relates to the murder of Michael McIlveen in 2006".
He added: "The alleged injured party was convicted of that murder."
The lawyer told the court that Sean McIlveen was the uncle of Michael McIlveen and the other two accused are a nephew and niece of his client, Sean McIlveen.
Michael McIlveen's mum, Gina McIlveen, watched on from the public gallery at Ballymena Court yesterday.