15 Aug 2022

'High profile' murder accused at risk 'from those seeking revenge' - court told

Karol Kelly
A police officer today told Derry Magistrate's Court there were fears if a 17-year-old youth charged with the murder of Karol Kelly in the city last year was released on bail he would be at risk "from those seeking revenge." The comments came during a bail application for the youth who has been in custody for over 10 months. The officer told the court that on 4 March two males entered a house in Grafton Street in the Rosemount and assaulted two brothers in the house The court heard that following the assault, the two brothers accompanied by the youth, were alleged to have followed the pair out and an altercation took place at the top of the street and then another at the bottom of the street. The officer told the court the youth was alleged to have pushed Karol Kelly (pictured) causing him to fall and then he was said to have been assaulted by one of the brothers. The youth was said to have tried to stop the ongoing assault before the other brother arrived and continued it. After the assault the youth was said to have brought knives back to the house. The court heard during police interview the youth denied causing any injuries to Mr Kelly and added he tried to stop the assault. The officer said that the youth had been refused bail both in the Magistrate's Court and in the High Court on several occasions. He said the murder was 'high profile" and "significant tensions arose in the aftermath." The court was told that death threats in the form of graffiti appeared and police were concerned with the risk to the youth. The officer said police believed no address in Derry would be suitable and there was a risk of further offences. He said that police also were fearful the youth could interfere with witnesses. The defence solicitor said his client had co-operated with police and had done "tremendous work" while in custody. Deputy District Judge John Rea said the youth was charged with the most serious charge but there was a presumption in favour of bail. However, he said the youth faced the most serious charge and having heard the police objections he did not feel that he should grant bail. The youth was remanded in custody to appear again with the two others accused in the case for a preliminary enquiry on 7 February.

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