PPS reviewing decision not to prosecute Department of Infrastructure over Noah Donohoe death

Noah Donohoe was found in a storm drain in 2020

The Public Prosecution Service is reconsidering a decision not to prosecute the Department of Infrastructure for corporate manslaughter following the death of Noah Donohoe.

The teenager was found dead in a storm drain in North Belfast in 2020 six days after he went missing.

PPS Assistant Director Roger Davison said: “The PPS received an investigation file from police in February 2022 reporting the Department for Infrastructure in relation to the accessibility of the storm drain in which the body of Noah Donohoe was found in June 2020. The file reported the Department for Infrastructure for a decision as to prosecution in relation to a potential offence of corporate manslaughter.

“All the evidence and information in this file was carefully considered by a senior public prosecutor. As part of our considerations, we engaged closely with police and with the Health and Safety Executive.

“It was determined that the evidence was insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction in court for any offence and therefore the Test for Prosecution was not met.

“We wrote to Noah’s mother Fiona Donohoe in June 2022 to explain the detailed reasons for this decision and assured her that it was taken only after the most careful consideration of all the evidence and circumstances of the case.

“We subsequently received a request to review the decision not to prosecute and this is being carried out in line with the procedure set out in the PPS Code for Prosecutors.”

Meanwhile, the coroner has told Noah's mother Fiona Donohoe that he will decide in the next 14 days if he will allow a jury at the inquest into the 14-year-old's death.

This is something his mother has strongly requested.

Fiona Donohoe's legal team told the coroner the community should play a role in determining what happened to Noah, arguing public perception is important & public confidence in the findings. Examples like the inquest into Princess Diana & the Hillsborough tragedy were used.

Also during the hearing an application by Noah's mum was made to have the inquest adjourned.

It is set to be held on 28 November over 15 days.

It was argued this is not sufficient time to prepare given alleged delays in the disclosure of information.

Her legal team also warned 15 days for the inquest was not realistic weeks it would need six weeks.

The hearing heard that on one day 16 police witnesses have been called but it was argued this was sufficient as many of the statements are short.

The inquest must determine if Noah's death was accidental, suicide or there was third party intervention.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.