Madden & Finucane Solicitors represented Dane McKeever who was charged with Affray and stood trial all week at Derry Crown Court. Unanimously acquitted by all 12 Jurors after only 40 minutes deliberation results in the PPS being heavily criticised for a Prosecution that should not have been directed.
In the autumn of 2017, our client was reported to the PPS. A direction of No Prosecution in respect of the offences of murder and manslaughter issued on Christmas Eve 2020. The PPS then reviewed that decision after an appeal from the McConomy Family and a decision was then taken to prosecute Mr McKeever for the offence of affray along with 4 other individuals in respect of the violence in Derry that night.
All of those other persons pleaded guilty to various offences including affray and non-custodial sentences were handed down by the Crown Court. Two of those convicted were close associates of the deceased.
Outside Court, Mr McKeever’s solicitor, Ciarán Shiels of Madden & Finucane, said:
“This was a very sad and sensitive case in which a young man tragically lost his life. Our client appreciates that Jordan McConomy’s family and friends have suffered a horrendous loss arising from the events of 24th September 2017.
“As far back as 2017, when Mr McKeever was in police custody, as 18 year old arrested on suspicion of murder and affray, he was interviewed on 14 separate occasions answering every question police put to him, the CCTV confirmed clearly that Mr McKeever was the victim of a serious physical assault. As conceded by the PSNI and the PPS at court, he was the fourth individual to be assaulted by the deceased that night. At no time did he punch, kick or otherwise assault the deceased in any way.
“As the CCTV clearly disclosed, Dane McKeever was subjected to a serious assault by three individuals and the first punch eventually thrown by in self-defence was directed at his third attacker, and that act of self-defence did not come until the deceased had tragically gone to the ground after he attacked our client.
“Our client clearly and consistently maintained his innocence in relation to his involvement.
“Those facts were clearly and unmistakably established beyond doubt before the jury over the last 4 days. The jury today acquitted Dane McKeever unanimously after just over 40 minutes deliberation.”