Jury clears woman of murder but guilty of manslaughter


A JURY  has found a woman guilty of the manslaughter of Pat Ward but cleared her of murder following a trial at Dungannon Crown Court lasting just over two weeks.

Karen Marie McDonald (37) of McCrea Park, Clogher wept as the verdict was announced while Mr Ward’s wife, parents and family sat just feet behind her, accompanied by police liaison and uniformed officers.


She denied murdering Mr Ward on 9 February 2019 and when alternative counts of manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter and assisting an offender were added, these were likewise denied.

Her partner Niall Cox (27) initially also denied murder, but changed his plea and awaits sentencing.

The 30-year-old victim’s lifeless, half-naked body man was discovered in an alleyway having been dragged there by Cox from McDonald’s home where a brutal attack has taken place.

CCTV would emerge showing the victim’s wife Ellie Ward walking the area in nightclothes shortly after 4.40 am searching in vain after he didn’t come home and calls to his phone went unanswered.

She will appear alongside Cox for sentencing in April 

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