Northern Ireland

Jason McGovern case: Mark Donnelly to face a retrial

Jason McGovern Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Jason McGovern was found dead at a house in County Monaghan on New Year's Eve in 2012

The County Tyrone man accused of the manslaughter of County Monaghan teenager Jason McGovern in 2012 is to face a retrial.

Mark Donnelly, 22, from Greencastle Road, Omagh, County Tyrone, denies manslaughter.

This week the jury failed to reach a verdict in the case.

Mr McGovern was found dead at a friend's house after he was attacked on New Year's Eve 2012 in Omagh.

Mr Donnelly was in Dungannon Crown Court on Friday to hear a prosecution lawyer say his instructions were to proceed with a second trial.

Image caption Mark Donnelly denied claims that he struck the blow that killed Jason McGovern

The lawyer said he had taken instruction from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A defence lawyer said he had consulted with his senior QC, and given the "intensive" media coverage, all they would ask is for a reasonable time to elapse before the case goes to court again.

The judge, who said it was a matter of balance, between that and having the case dealt with reasonably expediently, agreed to postpone the retrial until early in the New Year, possibly by the end of February.

Although there was a suggested date for the last week of February 2015, the prosecution lawyer said he would check on the availability of prosecution witnesses and report back to the court by next week in an effort to meet the new date.

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