Declan Quinn alleged hit and run: Victim ‘signalled car to stop’

Coalisland hit-and-run victim Declan Quinn was murdered after his second cousin drove straight at him as the victim raised his arms for the car to stop, the High Court has heard.

Mr Quinn, 37, suffered a snapped neck, a severed spinal cord, broke both his legs and sustained brain injuries after being struck by the Vauxhall Corsa on Gortgonis Road at about 10.30am of Saturday, July 16. He died two days later in hospital.

His second cousin, 21-year-old Anthony Quinn, of Maplebrook Hill in the town, has been charged with his murder and driving while disqualified. He denies deliberately driving at his cousin.

The accused claims he ducked behind the wheel because the victim was standing in the road with a claw-hammer while another man was pointing a gun at him.

He was granted bail but was banned from entering Coalisland or driving any car.

Crown counsel Kate McKay said: “It was alleged the applicant drove directly at Declan Quinn, knocking him over the car bonnet and into the air before making off from the scene.”

She told the court witnesses had claimed the deceased was one of two men chasing the vehicle on foot, but he had stood on the road with both arms raised for the car to stop.

Anthony Quinn voluntarily went to police a day after his second cousin died and denied purposefully driving at him.

The accused had been at his grandmother’s house when his father made a panic phone call that three men were trying to break into his home, the High Court heard.

The alleged intruders were said to be armed with a gun, sledgehammer and claw-hammer.

Neil Rafferty, defending, said: “The next thing the defendant heard is his father saying ‘They are in’ and the phone went dead.”

He told the court Anthony Quinn was chased by a Mercedes car and others on foot after he arrived at the house.

One of them raised a gun, while Declan Quinn waived a hammer at him, it was claimed.

Mr Rafferty said: “This defendant ducked down behind the dashboard and continued to drive, simply to get away.

“He heard a bang and glass came in and he drove off. As far as he was concerned the window had either been hit by a bullet or the claw-hammer.

“It was not until that evening that he found out the tragedy that Declan Quinn, his cousin, had been hit.”

Lord Justice Girvan granted bail, but ordered the accused to live at an undisclosed address outside Coalisland.

He was also ordered to surrender any passports, to report to police daily, and was banned from leaving Northern Ireland or contacting witnesses in the case.


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