Northern Ireland news

Man accused of murdering neighbour admits shooting him but claims it was accident

A PORTADOWN man accused of murdering his neighbour has admitted shooting him but claims it was an accident, a court heard today.

Connor Lawrence McNeill is accused of murdering Stephen Barraskill on October 26, 2021.

The 54-year old defendant, from Whitesides Hill in the Co Armagh town, appeared at Belfast Crown Court via a videolink with HMP Maghaberry.

He was charged with two offences - namely murdering Mr Barraskill on October 26, 2021 and possessing a shotgun and two cartridges with intent to endanger life on the same date.

When both charges were put to McNeill, he replied 'not guilty.'

Informing Mr Justice O'Hara the defence were seeking reports ahead of the trial, McNeill's barrister Joel Lindsay said: "There is no dispute he committed the act, the issue is he is saying it was an accident."

The court heard both McNeill's state of mind and issues about the firearm used will be explored via reports.

The Judge was then told by Crown prosecutor Neil Connor KC that the trial will last around two weeks.

Mr Justice O'Hara scheduled the trial to commence on June 5 and Friday's hearing concluded with McNeill being remanded back into custody.


Northern Ireland news