Case against woman accused of withholding information over alleged killer is withdrawn

PACEMAKER BELFAST  08/03/2017
Police are seeking information as to the whereabouts of a prisoner who has failed to return to Maghaberry Prison. �(R)�(R)Michael Lawrence Smith, aged 38, was released erroneously by the Prison Service on Tuesday 7 March and has failed to return to the prison. Mr Smith, who is currently on remand for murder, had previously applied for High Court bail for this offence. Police strenuously objected and bail was refused.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/03/2017 Police are seeking information as to the whereabouts of a prisoner who has failed to return to Maghaberry Prison. �(R)�(R)Michael Lawrence Smith, aged 38, was released erroneously by the Prison Service on Tuesday 7 March and has failed to return to the prison. Mr Smith, who is currently on remand for murder, had previously applied for High Court bail for this offence. Police strenuously objected and bail was refused.

The case against a woman accused of withholding information over the whereabouts of an alleged killer was withdrawn yesterday.

Laura Marie McCann (33) appeared at Newtownards Magistrates Court but a prosecution lawyer said she had been instructed to withdraw the charge.

McCann, from Killynure Green in Carryduff, had been accused of with holing information concerning an arrestable offence on April 5 in that knowing a person was unlawfully at large, she had information which was “likely to secure or to be of material assistance in securing the apprehension prosecution or conviction of some person for that offence and without reasonable excuse failed to give that information within a reasonable time to a constable.”

The charge arose after alleged killer Michael Smyth was freed from Maghaberry prison by mistake.

Smith had been refused bail in the High Court when he applied for compassionate release to attend his son’s confirmation ceremony but was wrongly freed the following day.

Smith, 38, of Ardmonagh Gardens, is charged with a murder in south Belfast in February last year.

He is alleged to have fired the fatal shot after men broke into a house at Walmer Street.

Smyth was eventually arrested at a property in Carryduff on April 5.