Londonderry: Edward Meenan murder accused granted bail

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image copyrightMeenan family
image captionEdward Meenan's body was found in an alleyway on 25 November 2018

A man awaiting trial for the murder of Edward Meenan in Londonderry has been granted bail.

Sean Ciaran Joseph Rodgers, 33, who is of no fixed abode, is one of four people charged with offences arising from the murder in November 2018.

The body of 52-year-old Mr Meenan was found in an alleyway at Creggan Street. He had been stabbed multiple times.

Mr Rodgers appeared before Belfast Crown Court by videolink from Maghaberry Prison on Monday.

The judge warned him that breaches of bail conditions would result in him being returned to custody.

A prosecution barrister opposed Mr Rodgers' release on the basis that he had breached bail several times and had been carrying a knife on one such occasion.

Mr Rodgers was released from custody in September 2019 but was returned last December after several incidents with police and breaches of bail.

'His final chance'

His defence barrister said most of the breaches of bail had been "technical", including breaching an 08:00 curfew by putting his bins out at 07:52.

He said that Mr Rodgers' possession of a knife was concerning but added there was "no suggestion" his client was brandishing the weapon when he came to the attention of the police or that he threatened anyone with it.

He also pointed out that as the trial involved four co-accused the hearing may not take place until next winter due to the Covid-19 restrictions on the number of defendants in a courtroom.

The judge said that on the basis the trial will not happen before the summer he would grant the application for bail.

He said: "This is his final chance and any breach of bail conditions will lead to him staying in custody until the trial for murder takes place."

Mr Rodgers was released on his own bail of £500.

Under the terms of his release, he will be tagged, live at an address approved by the police and adhere to a curfew.

He is banned from contacting any of his co-accused and has been ordered to not enter County Londonderry apart from to attend appointments with his GP or solicitor or to appear at court.

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