Arlene material ready for coroner

Published Tuesday, 07 January 2014
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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.

Arlene material ready for coroner
Arlene Arkinson disappeared after attending a disco in 1994. (© Family album photo)

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 News
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