Date set for preliminary enquiry after road traffic collision: Court


A date has been set in October for a preliminary enquiry in an alleged death by dangerous driving case following an horrific road traffic collision in north Antrim in which two young people died and seven others were injured.

A judge had previously threatened to throw out the case if prosecutors were not ready to proceed.

At Coleraine Magistrates Court on August 26 a prosecution lawyer said the preliminary enquiry - the legal move to send the case to the Crown Court - will now take place on October 14.

Shane Kinney (22), of Drones Road, Armoy, is accused in connection with a horror collision at Easter 2015 in which two young people were killed and seven others injured.

The preliminary enquiry was originally due to be heard at the court on Friday but earlier this month a prosecutor said they would be vacating that date.

At the previous court the prosecutor said a “definitive” new date for the preliminary enquiry would be set on August 26.

A defence lawyer also told the previous hearing the slow progress in the case was “not entirely satisfactory”.

Judge McNally told that sitting, on August 15, prosecutors were going to have to concentrate on the case as it was now over a year since it first came to court.

He told the August 15 hearing if there was no progress from prosecutors by August 26 he would fix a date for the preliminary enquiry which would be “locked in stone” and if that was not met he would “discharge the defendants”.

At court on Friday a prosecutor set the date for October 14 but a defence lawyer said if the PE does not take place on that date he will be applying to have the charges dismissed.

Judge McNally told the prosecution they had been “well warned”.

Shane Kinney is charged with causing the deaths of Johnny Black (19) from Ballycastle and Robin Wilson (26) from Armoy by dangerous driving on April 6, 2015, at Cushendall Road, Ballycastle.

He is further charged with causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving to Clodagh Arbuckle, Robert Kirkpatrick, Eamon McKeague, Tom Gault, Ciara McHugh, Denise Dunlop and Patrick Neeson.

He is further charged with failing to report an accident and remain at the scene of an accident.

The accused is also charged with handing stolen goods - a rear bumper and boot lid of a Volkswagen Golf; obstructing a police officer; intent to pervert the course of justice by making a false statement to police in relation to ownership of a mobile phone which had been used after a fatal road traffic collision; conspiring with his parents to pervert the course of justice by removing a Volkswagen Golf allegedly involved in a fatal road traffic collision; and assisting alleged offenders in the theft of a bumper and boot lid.

All the above charges were in connection with April 6, 2015 and he is further charged with possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply on June 30, 2015.

Shane Kinney’s father, Kevin Alexander Kinney (51), and his mother Sharon Kinney (49) - all three have the same address - both face three charges.

Those charges are: intending to pervert the course of justice by removing a Volkswagen Golf allegedly involved in a fatal road traffic collision; conspiring to pervert the course of justice in assisting in the removal of a Golf; assisting an offender.

Kevin Kinney faces a fourth charge - theft of car parts worth £100 from McAuley Car Dismantlers.

At a previous court last year a police officer said at 3.41am on Monday April 6, 2015, police received a report of a fatal road traffic collision at Cushendall Road, Ballycastle, involving two vehicles at the scene - a Volkswagen Bora in which Robin Wilson was going towards Ballycastle and a Peugeot car containing Johnny Black going towards Ballyvoy .

The officer said police investigations led them to believe a third vehicle was involved, a blue Volkswagen Golf, which was identified as belonging to Shane Kinney through its registration number.

He said the suspect presented himself voluntarily at Coleraine Police Station on April 8, 2015, and afterwards presented his car for inspection and no damage was found.

The officer said police believed parts were stolen from a car dismantlers yard in Armoy which were fitted on the vehicle and the officer claimed forensics later matched the parts on Kinney’s car to a car in the yard.

He said witnesses placed Kinney at the scene of the accident with damage to his car but that he then left the area.

The officer said another witness had earlier seen Kinney and one of the deceased, Robin Wilson, at Hunter’s Bar in Ballyvoy, near Ballycastle.

The police officer said witnesses alleged Kinney’s parents recovered the car on the evening of April 6.