24 June 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A man from County Tyrone accused of the one-punch killing of a nineteen-year old Monaghan man has been cleared of his manslaughter this week after the prosecution “offered no evidence” on the charge.

Twenty-three year old Greencastle man Mark Donnelly was formally acquitted of the manslaughter of Jason McGovern on Monday past, 20th June, at a sitting of Dungannon Crown Court in Belfast’s Laganside courthouse after facing three trials in connection with the death of the teenager. Mr Donnelly had pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

Mr McGovern died in a friend’s home in Mullan, County Monaghan hours after being attacked in a car park on a night out in Omagh, County Tyrone on New Year’s Eve in 2012. He had a fractured skull and died from resulting bleeding on the brain, a
post mortem later revealed.

The judge, Lady Justice Keegan, then instructed the jury of seven men and five women to find Donnelly “not guilty by direction”.

Mr Donnelly was last before the courts last June but in the case, the jury was unable to reach a verdict, the second time a jury had failed to do so. Another trial was aborted for legal reasons.

Mr Donnelly is still to be sentenced on a charge of “having fought and made an affray” on the same night during which Mr McGovern’s friend Liam McWilliams had his jaw fractured outside a bar in John Street in Omagh. He was found guilty of that charge at a previous trial.

Following his acquittal of manslaughter, Mr Donnelly was informed that he will be sentenced for affray on 10th September next at Dungannon Crown Court. He was released on continuing bail.

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