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Up to 90 witnesses expected at Inquest into shooting dead of a man at police checkpoint

Thursday, 16 February 2017

UP to 90 witnesses could be called at an Inquest into the shooting dead of a man at a police checkpoint on Easter Sunday 11 years ago, a Preliminary Inquiry heard last week.
Steven Colwell, aged 23, who was living in Cullybackey at the time, was shot dead in 2006 at a checkpoint in Ballynahinch.
He was driving a stolen BMW car which police had been tipped off about and had set up the checkpoint to intercept.
When Mr Colwell tried to turn the car and get out of the queue of traffic he was shot twice by a police officer.
Last Thursday, February 9, Coroner Neil Rafferty, said he wished to ensure the Inquest would definitely commence at Laganside on September 4 this year.
At Thursday's Preliminary Inquiry in Dungannon lawyers went through an agenda which raised issues of venue, witnesses and police training.
There had been previous discussions that the Inquest could be held in Armagh or Dungannon.
However Mr Colwell's family lawyer argued this would make it impossible for them to attend.
Another issue that was raised was locating training records of 'Officer O' who shot Mr Colwell.
A lawyer for the PSNI said they "were having difficulty ascertaining what exact training was taken by police at that time."
The Coroner heard the PSNI were seeking to contact retired officers who carried out the training, so they can assist during the hearing.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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