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Armagh man accused of Nigel Burgess manslaughter fails to have case thrown out

Nigel Burgess
Nigel Burgess died in April 2020

A Co. Armagh man accused of manslaughter has been ordered to stand trial after a judge held there was sufficient evidence to elevate the case to the Crown Court.

During a Preliminary Investigation at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, lawyers for 51-year-old Brian Anthony Nicholl argued that the charge against him should be dismissed but District Judge Bernie Kelly refused the application.

Nicholl, from Ballinahone Close in Armagh is charged with the unlawful killing of Nigel Burgess on April 11 last year.

Mr Burgess, who had the nickname Budgie and was 60-years-old at the time of his death, died at Ballinahone Close in Armagh in what police said was “an altercation.”

It was reported at the time that when police officers and emergency services arrived, they found Mr Burgess lying on the ground but tragically, he was later pronounced dead at the scene.

It is understood that Nicholl, who is from Ballinahone Close, was arrested at the time and was freed pending further enquiries.

Previously, defence counsel Patrick Taggart said that having read the legal papers “it would appear to me that it’s quite an unusual case” in that it is not the Crown’s case Mr Burgess’ death was caused by an injury but rather by “emotional stress” during an altercation.

“There was stress caused and there was an underlying condition,” said the lawyer.

With District Judge Kelly deciding that Nicholl had a case to answer, the court clerk told the defendant that although not obliged to he had the right to comment on the charge and to call evidence on his behalf, but appearing in court in person, Nicholl declined the opportunity.

Freeing him on continuing bail, District Judge Kelly returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court and scheduled the arraignment for October 12.

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