Northern Ireland

Rebecca McKeown's brother 'was once murder suspect'

Rebecca McKeown
Image caption Rebecca McKeown died in hospital in March 2001

The trial of two grandparents accused of the manslaughter of their severely disabled granddaughter 11 years ago has heard their grandson was once arrested on suspicion of murdering her.

Rebecca McKeown, 14, died in 2001. Her mother Cheryl has been giving evidence.

David Johnston, 88, and his wife Sarah, 86, from Carwood Drive in Glengormley, deny manslaughter and child cruelty.

Cheryl McKeown said she was shocked when she was first told in 2008 that the case was being reopened.

Under cross-examination from a defence barrister, she said she was interviewed in January 2008 about Rebecca's death.

The barrister said she may have been in shock because she had just found out that her eldest son Stewart was about to be arrested on suspicion of murdering Rebecca.

Stewart McKeown was never charged in relation to the death of his sister, who used a specially designed wheelchair and could neither walk, talk nor eat for herself.

She died in hospital after developing pneumonia.

The trial of Rebecca's grandparents is expected to last until mid-June.

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