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Woman charged with assisting alleged killer of Bessbrook father-of-two to face Crown Court

Brian Phelan died after being stabbed on the Carrivekenney Road outside Newry in July 2018

A south Armagh woman charged with assisting the alleged killer of Bessbrook man Brian Phelan is to face Crown Court proceedings next month.

The 27-year-old appeared at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

Samantha Collins, of Parkview Close, Cloghogue is charged with perverting the course of justice, withholding information concerning an arrested person and assisting an offender.

As the charges were read, it was heard that the defendant is alleged to have committed these offences between July 26, 2018, and February 23, 2021.

Collins is accused of perverting the course of justice by assisting Daniel Carroll in the murder of Brian Phelan, withholding information she had about the murder and with assisting an offender.

Carroll, of Edward Street in Portadown, is alleged to have murdered Mr Phelan.

The father-of-two died after being stabbed on the Carrivekenney Road outside Newry on July 26, 2018.

Appearing via videolink from her solicitor’s office, the defendant made no objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.

Defence solicitor Gerard Trainor made no contrary submissions.

Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall said that she was satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer.

Collins was released on her own bail of £500 to appear before Newry Crown Court on June 8 for arraignment.

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