Judge shoots down plans for alleged killer to holiday in Donegal

September 21, 2020

Plans by a man facing court over his alleged involvement in a murder to holiday in Co Donegal have been shot down by a Judge.

Jake O’Brien, aged 25, had planned to visit Bundoran for his mother’s birthday celebrations soon.

Craigavon Magistrates Court heard that police claimed alleged killer O’Brien had breached his bail conditions by getting into a van recently.

The Sunday LIfe reported that O’Brien, from Rectory Road, is jointly accused with Andrew Martin (24), from Trasna Way also in Lurgan, of the murder of crime gang boss Malcolm McKeown in August last year.

The 54-year-old gangster was shot six times in the head and body as he sat in his car at a filling station in Waringstown.

In court in Friday, where O’Brien appeared via videolink from police custody, a detective said that on September 17 officers had been on patrol in Moira when they spotted a man in the driver’s seat of a van.

Officers took a description and watched as the man went to the rear of a property.

Police went to this house and were greeted by a man who said he lived there on his own, but officers noticed someone else moving inside. Having gained access, they found a “sweaty and nervous” O’Brien.

Being in a private vehicle would represent a beach of the his bail conditions.

Outlining police concerns, the constable said O’Brien was accused of a serious offence alleged to have been committed while on licence.

She added that there were concerns of witness interference and that the gun involved in the killing had yet to be recovered.

Defence barrister Michael Forde said the breach of bail was not accepted and that a middle ground had been established through a change of conditions, with O’Brien signing with police three times a week as opposed to once.

Mr Forde also submitted that his client would forgo his planned trip to Donegal.

District Judge Rosie Watters said: “With great reluctance, I am going to allow bail with the amended condition, but he will not be going to Bundoran.”

The case was adjourned until October 16.



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