Judge condemns Derry court ‘spectacle’

Judge Barney McElholm.
Judge Barney McElholm.

Two men sent to the cells for contempt of court during Wednesday morning’s appearance of two brothers accused of the murder of Derry man Karol Kelly have apologised for their behaviour.

A defence solicitor for one of the men said his client had been the deceased’s best friend and was at the scene on the night in question.

Eugene Burns said his client was a trained first aider who had tried to give Mr Kelly CPR not realising the extent of his injuries.

He said the man had not been sleeping or eating since the incident and didn’t even remember what he had said in court.

Mr Burns said his client was ‘genuinely sorry’ for his behaviour.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley, representing the second man, said his client accepted ‘his behaviour did not dignify the deceased’ and arose from a background of ‘tension and emotion’.

He told the court ‘things got the better’ of his client who, he said, also wished to apologise.

District Judge Barney McElholm took no further action against either man and accepted their apologies.

He said: “The problem with crowd dynamics is, once one person starts then everyone else succumbs as well. The thing developed into the spectacle it became and it does no one any honour.”