Piotr Krowka murder: Teen suspect's curfew changed to attend rave

image copyrightPSNI
image captionPiotr Krowka was violently attacked while sleeping rough in Maghera

A teenager accused of murdering a homeless man last year has succeeded in having his bail conditions changed so he can go to a rave.

Caolan Michael Johnston is one of two teenagers charged with murdering Piotr Krowka in Maghera, County Londonderry.

Mr Johnston, from The Fort in Maghera, was 17 when he was arrested and so he could not be named by the media.

Now identifiable for the first time, the 18-year-old asked a judge relax his curfew so he can attend a "DJ concert".

'Maghera mafia'

Mr Johnston is accused of murder alongside 19-year-old Adrian Kozack, from Craigmore Heights in Maghera.

The victim, who was 36, was originally from Poland and is alleged to have died after a violent assault.

Mr Krowka had been sleeping rough at a derelict parochial house in Maghera, where his body was found by police on 3 April 2018.

A post-mortem examination later revealed he suffered a violent death, caused by "blunt force trauma" to his head, chest, abdomen and left arm.

There was also evidence a sharp weapon was used and pressure applied to his neck.

image captionIt is understood Mr Krowka had been sleeping rough at this derelict parochial house

At an earlier court hearing, it was alleged Mr Johnston was a suspected member of a gang calling themselves the "Maghera mafia" who had been involved in anti-social behaviour in the town.

He was granted bail to live at his parents' home on strict conditions, including wearing an electronic tag; refraining from drugs and alcohol and obeying a night time curfew between the hours of 21:00 to 07:00.

'Organising a bus'

On Wednesday, Mr Johnston appeared in the dock of Magherafelt Magistrates' Court to ask a judge for permission to stay out at a music event in Belfast until 04:00 GMT.

"What sort of concert is this?" the judge asked.

"It's a DJ concert. There's like five DJs at it. It's a big facility. We're organising a bus," Mr Johnston replied.

"So it's a rave?" the judge asked and the teenager agreed.

The judge said the event could not continue until 04:00 GMT.

"Certainly not legally anyway in view of licensing laws," the judge said.

A defence lawyer then explained the concert would end at about 02:00 GMT, but sought a curfew change to allow the teenager to travel home to Maghera.

The judge would not agree to the request until Mr Johnston's mother agreed to drive to Belfast and collect the accused at 02:30 GMT on the night of the concert.

The bail terms were ordered to be relaxed for the relevant times.