Monaghan woman's decision that delayed criminal proceedings described as "cowardly"

Oct 20, 2021 15:01 By News Northern Sound
Monaghan woman's decision that delayed criminal proceedings described as "cowardly"
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Judge John Aylmer said the move to the United States added years of delays and "undoubtedly" caused the McKenna family more stress.

A Judge has described a Monaghan woman's decision to move to the USA and delay criminal proceedings as "cowardly".

26-year-old Colleen McCann with addresses at Drumacon, Castleblayney, and Newry Co Down was today handed a suspended sentence for careless driving causing the death of her friend almost 10 years ago.

She will have to wait until January to see if she'll also be disqualified from driving.

17-year-old Ciaran McKenna, a minor footballer with Crossmaglen Rangers, was killed in the collision, which happened at Maghernakill, Castleblayney in the early hours of July 30th 2012.

Approximately two years later Colleen McCann moved to America.

She was extradited in 2017 to face charges in relation to the crash.

In court last week, Ciaran's mother, Mary, said her family had been broken by his loss.

He would have turned 27 at the end of this month.

Monaghan Circuit Court heard how Colleen McCann was driving the car on the night of the crash although she said she had no recollection of it.

During her trial for dangerous driving causing death, she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of careless driving causing death.

Today, Judge John Aylmer said the Court can't say if her move to the United States was an aggravating factor, but that it added years of delays to the case and "undoubtedly" caused the McKenna family more stress.

He said that no credit could given for approaching the matter in a "cowardly fashion".

Accepting Ms McCann's circumstances as a remorseful single mother of previous good character, he deemed that a sentence of twelve months, fully suspended, was appropriate.

Due to legal issues arising in a separate case, the decision of whether a driving disqualification can be ordered and for how long, has been adjourned until the January sittings.

Entering her bond to keep the peace, the court heard Ms McCann has given an agreement not to drive until the legal issues are resolved.

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