A 20 year-old man has been cleared of the 2008 murder of pizza delivery man Emmet Shiels in Derry.
Thaddeus McAllister, originally from the Bogside but whose address was given in court papers as London, was cleared of six charges relating to the murder of Mr Shiels, the attempted murder of another man, possessing a handgun and common assault after no evidence was offered against him at Coleraine Crown Court this morning.
Prosecution barrister Terence Mooney, QC, said that no evidence would be offered in the case due to the fact that a “great number” of prosecution witnesses would not attend court.
He said it became apparent that “they were reluctant to attend court for various reasons”.
“By last Friday it became apparent to me that a tipping point had been reached,” he said. He added that following a review of the evidence over the course of the weekend he had come to a conclusion not to proceed with the case. “In these regretful circumstances I offer no evidence in this case against the accused.”
Defence counsel Brian McCartney, QC, asked for a formal verdict to be delivered and the judge, Mr Justice Maguire found the accused not guilty on all six charges against him.
Mr Shiels was shot dead in Creggan on June 24, 2008 when he was involved in a confrontation with an armed gang.
Gary Meenan, 20, from Bishop Street, was jailed for eight years for Mr Shiels’ manslaughter in November 2010.
Nadine Kelly, 20, from Celandine Court in Derry, was given a one-year suspended jail sentence, after she pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by giving Meenan a false alibi.