Trial over toddler death collapses

Ryan Cox.

Ryan Cox.

THE TRIAL of a university student who allegedly blames a young mum for causing the fatal car crash that killed her 18-month-old son on the Boa Island Road, has had to be aborted for legal reasons on Monday.

The Dungannon Crown Court trial of 24-year-old John Fahy, from Grogagh Grange in Sligo, was in its fourth day when trial judge, Her Honour Judge McReynolds told the jury of nine men and three women that unfortunately she had to stop the case.


Apologising for what Judge McReynolds described as, an unanticipated development, no other details were given to the jury before they were discharged, save to warn them not to discuss the case with anyone as there will be a future new trial.

Fahy, an architectural student at the University of Ulster, denies causing the death of 19-month-old toddler Ryan Cox by driving without due care and attention on the Boa Island Road in Fermanagh on January 14, 2013, and a similar charge of causing grievous bodily injury to the toddler’s mum Katriona.

At the start of his trial last week, prosecution QC Liam McCollum attacked Fahy’s blame claims to police at interview, that it was Mrs Cox’s driving of her Peugeot 307 that resulted in the tragic accident. Dismissing the claims as “simply” not adding up, the lawyer contended “all the objective evidence” indicted it was Fahy and his Renault Megan that was at fault.

Mr McCollum said it was the prosecution case that as Fahy rounded a left hand bend, near the entrance of Castle Cauldwell Forest, he lost control of his car, and or, by over steering, ended up on the wrong side of the road and “impacted with the motor vehicle of Mrs Cox”.

His driving, he said, fell far below what would have been expected from a confident and careful driver, while Mrs Cox “was entirely on the correct side of the road”, and that objective factors would show Fahy was on the wrong side when the vehicles impacted.

“The impact between the two vehicles occurred on the wrong side of the road for the defendant and on the right side of the road of Mrs Cox,” claimed Mr McCollum who added that gouges and debris on the road supported those findings.

Mrs Cox’s herself has no memory of the accident, just over a mile from her home, which claimed the life of baby Ryan who was found still strapped into his baby seat, as if he were ‘just sleeping’.


She awoke two days later in Altnagelvin Hospital, her son’s blanket over her bed. Although told by her sister Noreen about Ryan, it took another day for the full impact of the tragedy to register with her.

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