Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Son's murder bid confession and ATM arrests

Downpatrick Crown Court
Image caption James Anderson Weir had been due to go on trial at Downpatrick Crown Court

The confession of a north Belfast man to the attempted murder of his dying 90-year-old father makes the front page of the Belfast Telegraph on Wednesday.

James Anderson Weir, 67, from Manor Street, had been due to go on trial at Downpatrick Crown Court on Tuesday.

However, a defence lawyer asked the trial judge for the charge to be put to Weir again.

It was then that Weir admitted trying to kill his father James Weir Snr, who had dementia, on 24 November last year.

An earlier court hearing was told how staff at Blair House Care Home in Newtownards had contacted police after an intoxicated Weir said he could not watch his father suffer any longer - and they believed he was trying to "suffocate" him with a pillow".

His father has since died.

The newspaper, along with several papers including the Daily Mirror, also report that a woman has been arrested by detectives investigating the death of a County Londonderry teenager 20 years ago.

Jonathan Cairns was 18 when he was attacked in Ballykelly on his way home from a night out on 25 April 1999.

His body was found in a shallow grave in Loughermore Forest, about five miles from his home, the next day.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said a 44-year-old woman was arrested in Dungiven on Tuesday.

Image copyright Cairns Family
Image caption Jonathan Cairns was 18 when he was attacked in Ballykelly

The Irish News, on its front page, features an interview with the parents of a 21-year-old man who died from a suspected heroin overdose after collapsing in the toilets of a Belfast coffee shop.

It says Aaron Connor, who had a seven-month-old daughter, was found in Starbucks at Cornmarket on Saturday afternoon.

Staff administered first aid and raised the alarm. The newspaper says the west Belfast man was taken to hospital, but he died.

Aaron's parents, Christopher and Paula, said their son, a trainee bricklayer, had "his whole life ahead of him" and "could have had a different life if he had got the help he needed".

Aaron had battled drug addiction for five years, and had been freed from prison the day before his death, but had not returned to the family home.

The News Letter reports on its front page that police have arrested three men following an attempted robbery of a cash machine at a County Down petrol station.

The attack happened at Carlisles' on the Belfast Road in Ballynahinch on Monday morning.

It is believed a digger was used to try to rip the cash machine from the front wall of the building.

Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Gerry Adams is featured in a number of the newspapers on Wednesday

A number of the newspapers, including the News Letter and the Daily Mirror, report that the UK Supreme Court has been hearing the latest attempt by Gerry Adams to overturn convictions for twice trying to escape from prison in the 1970s.

Judges were told they should be quashed as it was argued there was a legal flaw in the order for his internment without trial and that his detention was unlawful.

The court will deliver its ruling at a later date.

Finally, the Irish News reports on the official opening of an autism centre in Carryduff which will provide support and activities for autistic adults and children.

Christine McGuinness, who has children who are autistic, travelled to Northern Ireland for the opening of the facility which was built with the help of donors who raised £200,000.

She said it was an honour to open the "absolutely incredible centre" which has colourful multi-sensory rooms and a kitchen to practice life skills.