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24th-Jan-2015 10:59 am - Woman charged with murder of prison officer

John Cassidy
24 Jan 2015

An unemployed single mother from Co Armagh is to stand trial in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black.

Fiona McFadden (29), of Killough Gardens, Lurgan, appeared at Belfast Crown Court yesterday for a brief arraignment hearing.

She pleaded not guilty to a single charge that she supplied a false alibi to a murder suspect on the day after Mr Black was killed.

The charge alleges that on November 3, 2012, she "did an act which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice, namely, informed police officers investigating the murder of David Black that Sean McVeigh had been in her company at her address between 4pm and 9.30pm on the 31st day of October 2012'.'

The court heard her trial is expected to last a number of weeks.

McFadden was released on continuing bail to await the fixing of a date for her trial later this year.

Mr Black was shot dead on the M1 in Co Armagh as he went to work at Maghaberry Prison in November 2012. The 52-year-old father-of-two was the first prison officer in Northern Ireland to be murdered in almost 20 years.

Sean McVeigh (33), of Victoria Road, Lurgan, was charged at Craigavon Magistrates Court in February 2014 with the murder of Mr Black.

He was further charged with possessing an assault rifle with intent to endanger life.

However, in July last year the charges against him were dramatically dropped.

A lawyer from the Public Prosecution Service told Craigavon Magistrates Court: "The charges in this matter are to be withdrawn.

"No prosecution has been directed."

A solicitor for McVeigh told the court that he planned to instigate legal proceedings against the PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service over the time his client had spent on remand.
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