Odhrán Kelly murder accused refused bail as court hears of detectives witnessing 'horrific scene'

Odhrán Kelly was a 23-year-old nursing assistant. Credit: Family photo

A man accused of being involved in the murder of a nursing assistant in Lurgan has had bail refused due to his history of violence and risk of flight.

Shane Harte's application was also denied on the grounds of potential interference with the course of justice and the suitability of a proposed bail address.

The 32-year-old of Headington House in Lurgan appeared via videolink from Maghaberry Prison as his alleged victim's family sat in Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Odhrán Kelly's 'badly burnt' body was discovered beside a burning car in Maple Court in Lurgan in the early hours of 3 December last year.

It was found a short distance away from a block of flats where police believe he was murdered a short time before.

In court, Detective Sergeant Weir said that police visited the block of flats where they discovered "an horrific scene of an horrific attack".

That was upon entering the flat, where officers discovered blood on the door of the first-floor property. Det Ser Weir said no one was in the flat at the time.

In the adjacent flat, three adults and a child were found, including Shane Harte. The detective revealed that Harte was interviewed by police nine times.

Regarding the night in question, Harte told police that he attended one of the flats to pay off a drugs debt. The first time he was seen going to the flat was at 00:08. Just over 20 minutes later, he left.

Det Ser Weir then told the court than Odhrán Kelly was seen on CCTV entering the flat at 01:14.

At 01:45, Harte entered the property for the second time, wearing a puffa-style jacket. It was then more than 90 minutes later, at 03:21, that he was then seen leaving once again.

Shortly, after 03:00, Andrea Stevenson who's 43-years-old and of Edward Street in Lurgan, made a number of phone calls stating that there had been fighting and a 'disturbance' in the block of flats. She is currently on bail accused of assisting in the disposal of Odhrán Kelly's body.

Police believe Mr Kelly was subjected to a 'prolonged violent assault with involving weapons' where he was 'unable to defend himself'.

Harte's co-accused, Gary Damien Scullion (31) and also of Edward Street in the town, was then seen leaving the flat block along with a woman.

The detective told the court that she believed this was the start of preparation to remove the body. The court heard that Harte denies ever seeing Odhrán Kelly in the property. Police say Scullion was discovered with 'signs of injury' when they arrived.

At 04:11, police say CCTV footage shows Odhrán Kelly's body being removed from the flat block.

Det Ser Weir told the court that the death Mr Kelly suffered was 'extremely violent' and was opposing to bail on a number of grounds.

However, Harte's defence argued that the 'height of evidence' against the accused is that he was there when the attack took place.

They also argued that a trip to Galway Harte made with his girlfriend Crystal Redden, the day after Odhrán Kelly's death, was not unusual for the couple as Ms Redden's family live there. The defence also said that Harte had agreed to meet with police the next day.

Crystal Redden (30), of Garland Avenue in Lurgan, is accused of perverting the course of justice by making a false statement four days after Odhrán Kelly's death.

Refusing bail, the judge said Shane Harte's history of violence, risk of flight and interference with witnesses did not make him a 'suitable candidate' for bail.

When the judge delivered his ruling, some relatives of Odhrán Kelly applauded before an interjection from the judge.

Police are also investigating why Harte's phone was given a factory reset as well as being unable to recover clothing worn by him. They also accuse Harte of buying new clothes in the aftermath of the murder on his way to Galway with Ms Redden.

He will appear in court again at the start of next month alongside Gary Damien Scullion.

A third-woman involved in this case, Stephanie McClelland, also appeared via videolink in court on Friday.

She is accused of assisting offenders in the murder of Mr Kelly.

McClelland, who's 36 and of Shan Slieve in Lurgan, will also appear again next month.

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