Belfast Telegraph

Son of murder victim is bailed after crash left woman fighting for life

By George Jackson

The son of a murdered man has appeared in court charged in connection with a crash in which a young woman was critically injured.

Conor McSorley (18) appeared at Londonderry Magistrates Court yesterday accused of 13 offences linked to the collision on the outskirts of Derry on Wednesday night. He was granted bail and is due to appear in court again on January 11.

The court heard that McSorley, from Roe Mill Walk, Limavady, was in the family home when his father was murdered 16 years ago.

The defendant, who has 57 previous criminal convictions, is charged with driving while unfit through drink or drugs, driving without a licence and without insurance, and failing to remain at the scene of an accident, among other counts.

A police officer told the court that when they arrived at the crash scene on the Clooney carriageway at 9.45pm last Wednesday, they found a Renault Clio lying in a field and an unconscious woman inside, bleeding profusely from head injuries. The court heard the defendant was found close to the scene, detained by a member of the public. When arrested, he told police he hoped the victim would pull through.

Objecting to bail, the officer said the defendant's criminal record was an aggravating feature, as well as the fact that 10 bench warrants had been issued for his arrest on a single day.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Derwin Harvey said his client was aware of the consequences of the incident for the young woman.

He added: "When aged two, the defendant was present in the family home when his father was murdered. He went into the care system and spent his teenage days in the care system.

"He accrued his criminal record during his time in the care residential system and he left there earlier this year to return to live with his mother.

"He has turned the tide in that his sustained period of not offending coincides with him returning to live with his mother.

"His alcohol reading after he was breathalysed was at the lower end of the excessive scale."

The judge released McSorley on £150 bail with a surety of £750 to return to court next month, on condition he live at an address agreed with police.

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