Arlene material ready for coroner

Arlene material ready for coroner

Police material on the murder of a Co Tyrone school girl almost 20 years ago is ready for a coroner to view, an inquest has heard.

On Monday it was revealed that Robert Howard, who was acquitted of killing teenager Arlene Arkinson, has been granted funding for legal representation.A full hearing is scheduled for this spring and Howard is expected to appear as a witness.On Tuesday, senior coroner John Leckey held a preliminary session in Belfast.Mark Robinson, a PSNI barrister, said sensitive documents relating to the case were ready for the coroner's office to view at a police station in Carrickfergus.Mr Leckey will then decide whether the information can be disclosed to the victim's family and lawyers for Howard.The coroner said: "Time is marching on, 28 April is not long."The Castlederg teenager was 15 when she went missing in August 1994 after a night out at a disco in Co Donegal.Her body has never been found and in 2005 child killer Robert Howard was acquitted of Arlene's murder by a jury unaware of his history of sex attacks. Two years earlier he was found guilty of murdering Hannah Williams, 14, in south London.A long-delayed inquest has been scheduled to take place at Omagh courthouse in April and is expected to last for just over two months.Howard, who is serving a life sentence at HMP Frankland in Co Durham, has been named as a crucial witness.

© UTV

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