herald

Sunday 16 December 2018

Bail refused after escape attempts by death accused

A TEENAGER charged in connection with the death of a young man was refused bail after a court was told he tried to escape garda custody twice.

Conor McClellland (19) of Castleblaney, Co Monaghan was charged with assault causing serious harm and refused bail at a special sitting of Cavan District Court in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Gavin O'Connor (22) died on Saturday night after being found at a roadside in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan shortly after 5am that morning.

Judge Kevin Kilraine said that the defendant's efforts to escape custody were both "serious and devious" and remanded him in custody.

Mr McClelland said that he "freaked out" when he attempted to run from the garda station where he was being held.

"I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what was going on," he said. "I didn't even know where I was going, I just ran."

Gardai said that the young man had previously attempted to evade gardai at his home during the arrest.

Garda Bobby Ogle said that later that day after questioning, Mr McClelland was informed that Mr O'Connor had died.

The accused told the garda that he wasn't feeling well and asked to be let outside for some air.

"He took flight -- ran out the avenue at the back of the station across the main road which was busy," said Det Gda Ogle.

"He went down a laneway on the far side of the road, which led down to another laneway. All the time I was shouting at him to stop.

A chase ensued and Mr McClelland stopped because Detective Garda Ogle was gaining on him.

He told the court that if given bail he would be concerned Mr McClelland would not appear for subsequent court dates.

Both parents gave evidence, agreeing that they would keep their son under virtual house arrest and that they would try to control him.

Superintendent Noel Cunningham said that a file on the case had gone to the DPP and that a further, more serious charge was expected.

Judge Kilraine refused bail on the seriousness of the charge; the likelihood of a further, more serious charge being brought; and because Mr McClelland represented a flight risk.

Mr McClelland was remanded to appear before Carrickmacross District Court on Wednesday.

hnews@herald.ie

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