Man in court over Omagh manslaughter

Man in court over Omagh manslaughter

A 28-year-old man who died after an assault at the weekend in Omagh is believed to have died from a single punch, a court has heard.

Christopher McLean, 18, of Main Street in Gortin, was charged at Dungannon Magistrates' Court on Wednesday with the manslaughter of Omagh man Darren McBrearty.

Numerous family members and friends of the defendant sat in the gallery, while McLean, sporting a black eye, stood in the dock.

The incident occurred in the John Street area of the Co Tyrone town on Sunday night.

Mr McBrearty passed away at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Tuesday evening.

Two other men, aged 23 and 24, had already been released on bail in connection with the incident.

Giving evidence to the court, a detective constable confirmed that it was believed to be a single punch incident, with a key facet of the case being whether McLean struck out in self-defence or as an act of aggression.

The police officer told the court that between 15 and 20 witnesses have been interviewed, with police still looking to talk to about 20 more people identified by police as being in the area at the time.

The police officer confirmed that McLean had no previous record but opposed his application for bail due to the large number of witnesses still to be interviewed.

Defence counsel asked the officer to confirm that McLean had "answered each and every question put to him" during ten interviews conducted with him since the incident, and had "given a full and frank account" which was "consistent" with what police believed to be the circumstances of the incident.

The officer confirmed he believed that to be the case.

McLean was granted bail and the case adjourned until Wednesday 21 August at Dungannon Magistrates' Court.


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