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Trial for pair accused of murdering homeless Maghera man

Two Maghera teenagers are to stand trial accused of murdering a vulnerable homeless man whose body was discovered in a former parochial house.

magherafelt court

Two Maghera teenagers are to stand trial accused of murdering a vulnerable homeless man whose body was discovered in a former parochial house.

Caolan Michael Johnston (18) of The Fort and Adrian Kozack (19) of Craigmore Heights, are jointly accused of murdering Piotr Krowka in April 2018.

The thirty-six-year-old Polish national suffered what police described as "a sustained, violent, assault causing his death".
Mr Krowka was last seen alive at about 9pm on 31 March 2018, when he was followed by a person. Some sort of scuffle or confrontation occurred, and the person ran off, seeking assistance from others congregating in the area.
Police found Mr Krowka's body on the afternoon 3 April 3, and a post mortem revealed death was caused by "blunt force trauma" to his head, chest, abdomen and left arm.

There was also evidence that a sharp weapon was used and pressure applied to his neck. Police at the time said a group calling itself the "Maghera mafia" had been terrorising the community with anti-social behaviour.
Johnston, who was a youth at the time, and Kozack were arrested within days. While both spent a short spell remanded in custody, they were later released on strict bail terms.

The case against them was listed for a committal hearing at Magherafelt Magistrates Court, during which it was expected they would be returned for trial. However, a prosecuting lawyer applied for an adjournment and a new committal date is to be fixed.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan remanded both accused on continuing bail to return to court on February 19.

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