Man pleads guilty to manslaughter of Phillipa Reynolds

Constable Phillipa Reynolds.
Constable Phillipa Reynolds.

A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of police constable Phillipa Reynolds.

Shane Christopher Frane, whose address was given on court papers as c/o Maghaberry, admitted the manslaughter of the 27-year-old police officer on February 9 in the Dales Corner area of the Waterside.

Constable Reynolds was fatally injured when a stolen 4x4 landcruiser crashed into the police vehicle she was a rear seat passenger in.

Frane admitted further charges of burglary, criminal damage and causing the death of Constable Reynolds by being an uninsured and unlicensed driver.

He also pleaded guilty to driving whilst unfit, failing to remain at the scene of an accident and failing to report it.

However, the 26-year-old denied aggravated vehicle taking causing death.

Prosecuting counsel Terence Mooney QC told Derry Crown Court he is confident a trial will not be necessary in relation to this charge.

A co-accused Conor Tyrone Clarence, of Bonds Hill, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking causing death, burglary and criminal damage.

Constable Reynolds’ parents, Mervyn and Dorothy, and sisters Nicola and Debra, were in court for the hearing along with friends and other family members.

A number of then wept in the public gallery as the guilty pleas were entered.

Sentencing was adjourned for probation pre-sentence reports. Both men were remanded in custody until January 17.

Recorder of Derry Judge Philip Babington said he is sure ‘those involved, particularly the family will be pleased to hear that it’s not thought any trial will be necessary’.