Connie Leonard inquest to be held next year

THE INQUEST into the death of much-loved local woman Connie Leonard is to take place next year.

Concepta Leonard was 51-years-old when she died at the hands of her ex-partner Peadar Phair (55) at her Maguiresbridge home on May 15, 2017.
Her then 30-year-old son Conor, who has Down’s syndrome, was also injured in the attack.

A preliminary hearing held at the Belfast Coroner’s Court last week heard both Ms Leonard and Mr Phair’s inquest are to be held together. During that hearing Coroner Anne-Louise Toal said she expected that “realistically” the full inquest would not be heard until next year.

This is due to issues with the availability of coroner’s court in the later half of this year, as well as issues with a high volume of disclosure in the case.
The hearing was told there was a large amount of CCTV footage to be considered by the Police for the purpose of the inquest. Transcripts of 999 calls, GP medical notes, court records, and mobile phone logs, are also to be considered.


Ms Toal said she was happy with the work done on progressing the disclosure requests since the last preliminary hearing, and said she hoped that by the end of the summer other issues, such as with the list of witnesses, could also be progressed and a date could be set.

Noting it would likely be 2023 before that date could be secured, Ms Toal said it would likely be at least Easter next year, given the volume of cases on her list for early next year.

The next preliminary hearing in the inquest is due to take place on September 26th.

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