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Murder charge dropped

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Murder charge dropped thumbnailAnthony McErlain had been a familiar face around Ballycastle until his brutal murder in January 2016. On Friday a Judge ruled there was ‘insufficient evidence’ for John Keenan to stand trial for Mr McErlain’s murder

A SENIOR judge has ruled that a Co Antrim man should not stand trial for the murder of a labourer in Ballycastle almost two years ago.
John Keenan (51), of Broombeg View in the town, had been charged with the murder of Anthony McErlaine on January 28, 2016.
Police said at the time that the 48-year-old, who was found in a flat in Broombeg view, had suffered a "traumatic and frightening death".
Defence lawyers for John Keenan had a made a 'No Bill' application at Belfast Crown Court under the Grand Jury Abolition (Northern Ireland) Act 1969 saying he had no case to answer.
His lawyers argued that he was asleep during the time when Mr McErlaine was assaulted and played no part in the attack on him.
However, the prosecution said that circumstanial evidence in the case, along with "lies" Keenan told to police at interview, were sufficient grounds to put him on trial in front of a properly directed jury.

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