Man charged over fatal crash

Flowers and messages of sympathy at the scene of the head-on car crash on the Cushendall Road Ballycastle where Johnny Black and Robbie Wilson lost their lives and two others were critically injured
Flowers and messages of sympathy at the scene of the head-on car crash on the Cushendall Road Ballycastle where Johnny Black and Robbie Wilson lost their lives and two others were critically injured

An Armoy man was yesterday charged with killing two men and injuring seven others in a two-car crash, including causing permanent brain damage to a female teenager and then trying to cover up his alleged involvement.

A police constable told Coleraine Magistrates’ Court he was objecting to 20-year-old Shane Kinney being released on bail as “community tensions are high” in Ballycastle and there are concerns for the safety of the alleged killer driver.

Despite those concerns, District Judge Liam McNally released Kinney on his own bail of £1,000 with a surety of £5,000 but barred him from entering the north coast harbour town and ordered him to surrender his driving licence and passport.

Kinney, from Drones Road in Armoy, is accused of causing the deaths of 19-year-old Johnny Black and Robin Wilson, 26, by driving dangerously on the Cushendall Road on April 6.

The 20-year-old is also charged with causing grievous bodily injury to seven people including permanent brain damage to 18-year-old Clodagh Arbuckle, perverting the course of justice by replacing damaged car parts, as well as associated offences of leaving the scene of an accident and failing to remain after an accident.

Kinney is also charged with stealing car parts, obstructing a constable, possessing class B cannabis with intent to supply, and simple possession of the drug.

The two-vehicle collision happened on the Cushendall Road at about 3.40am on Easter Monday.

In court yesterday, Kinney’s defence solicitor said that, according to his client, he was driving towards Ballycastle as two cars approached from either direction, one of which clipped his wing mirror and when he turned to go back he came across the scene of the fatal accident but was not involved in it.

Judge McNally ordered Kinney to return to court on July 27.

On Thursday, police charged a 50-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman with assisting offenders and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

They will also appear before Coleraine Magistrates’ Court on July 27.