Northern Ireland news

Police probe sudden death of Portadown teenager Shane Richardson

Police said a post mortem examination will be carried out to establish the cause of death of Shane Richardson
Bimpe Archer and Brendan Hughes

POLICE launched an investigation yesterday following the sudden death of a teenage boy in Portadown.

The boy was last night named locally as Shane Richardson and was thought to be 16 years old.

While the cause of death is not known, it is believed one line of inquiry is whether his death could be linked to drugs or other substances.

His death is the fourth possible drug-related tragedy in recent weeks. 

PSNI detective inspector Stephen Harvey said: "A post mortem examination will be carried out to establish the cause of death."

It is understood officers were called to the young man's home in the Brownstown Road area yesterday afternoon.

The teenager is believed to have attended Craigavon Senior High School and was set to receive his GCSE results in the coming days.

Portadown DUP councillor Darryn Causby said: "What we have is an absolute tragedy again in Portadown.

"It is devastating for everyone who loved that young person. It's very raw and very sore in the community. It's horrendous."

The tragedy is the latest in a spate of sudden deaths across the north.

The families of two men found dead side-by-side outside a flat in a Co Antrim estate at the weekend are still in the dark about how they died after post mortem examinations proved "inconclusive".

Best friends Rodney McDowell (43) and 51-year-old Mark McPeake were found outside the former's home in Drumtara, Ballee at around 7.30am on Sunday.

Police said yesterday that following the post mortem results they are "now awaiting the results of toxicology reports in relation to this matter".

Mark McPeake's funeral will take place on Thursdsay

Rodney McDowell (43) was found `side-by-side' with his friend outside his home on Sunday morning

Mr McPeake's brother Jimmy said his funeral will be tomorrow at 11am in James Henry Funeral Home on Broughshane Street, Ballymena.

Both men were known to be alcoholics.

Their deaths happened in a weekend that also saw 19-year-old Emma Doogan from Omagh found dead on Saturday in Meelmore Drive in the town.

Her boyfriend, Matthew Darryl Taylor, of Meelmore Drive, has been remanded into custody on drugs charges.

Emma Doogan died suddenly on Saturday afternoon in the Meelmore Drive area of Omagh

On Monday, a court in Enniskillen heard that the 24-year-old had supplied drugs to Ms Doogan.

Taylor faces a total of 10 charges connected to the possession and supply of Class A, B and C controlled drugs - ecstasy, cannabis and diazepam - and a further charge in connection with selling or supplying the prescription-only drug Lyrica,

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was clearly a tragic case and a "chilling example" of the dangers of the illicit use of drugs.

Friends and family have paid tribute to Ms Doogan's "kindness" and "bubbly personality" on social media.

Yesterday, a court refused Taylor compassionate bail to attend her funeral.

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