Northern Ireland news

Two women admit unlawfully killing Derry pensioner

Two women have admitted unlawfully killing a Derry pensioner who died ten months after being found unconscious in the street.

Daniel Guyler was rushed to hospital after he was discovering lying injured in the Termon Street area of the city on July 23, 2018.

The 75-year old never regained consciousness and passed away in Altnagelvin on May 1, 2019.

Two women - Rhona Mary Gracey (36) and 46-year old Sharon Mary Faustina Harland - were charged initially with both robbing Mr Guyler of his wallet in July 2018 and with his murder.

The pair appeared via separate videolinks at Belfast Crown Court, where it emerged a charge of manslaughter had been added to the bill of indictment.

Gracey, with an address at Chobham Street in Belfast, attended via a videolink with Hydebank.

At a previous hearing, she denied the murder charge, but Gracey entered a 'guilty' plea to the manslaughter of Mr Guyler yesterday.

Co-accused Harland, from Bridge Street in Derry, appeared via a link with the Shannon Clinic and was arraigned on three charges.

Harland denied the counts of murder and robbery but pleaded 'guilty' to a charge of manslaughter.

Mr Justice O'Hara then addressed Crown prosecutor Neil Connor KC and asked: "In light of the fact that there are guilty pleas from both defendants to the count of manslaughter, can you indicate what the prosecution position is?"

Mr Connor replied: "That plea is acceptable, My Lord, and therefore my application would be to leave the counts of murder and robbery, in respect of both accused, on the books not to be proceeded."

Frank O'Donoghue KC, representing Harland, told Mr Justice O'Hara his client has an "acute condition at play" and said one of the reports he required would be a psychiatric one.

Mr Justice O'Hara granted the request for time to compile and consider all reports and set the date for sentencing both Gracey and Harland as Thursday December 15, 2022.

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