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Convicted murderer accused of escaping from lawful custody

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A convicted killer charged with escaping from lawful custody has had his case sent to Antrim Crown Court.

Victor Kennedy (40), whose address was given as HM Prison, Magilligan, is accused of committing the offence last September.

He was in the dock at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday for a Preliminary Enquiry – the legal step to send a case to the higher court.

A prosecuting lawyer said she believed there was a case to answer and defence barrister Alan Stewart said he had no contrary submissions.

Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall ruled there was a case to answer and remanded the defendant in continuing custody to appear at Antrim Crown Court in April for arraignment.
Mr Stewart told the court Kennedy was due to remain in prison as a sentenced prisoner “until 2027, at least”.

The charges are linked to an incident last year.

Last September police said a Magilligan prisoner was taken by prison staff to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine for treatment to an arm injury.
He made off but was later apprehended when a police helicopter and patrols were deployed.

In March 2009, Kennedy, who was aged 31 at the time, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life for the killing of a school teacher.

Michael McGinnis, a former Royal Navy sailor who once taught English children in Korea, was found lying at the bottom of concrete steps at Blackburn Path in Limavady in 2007, suffering multiple injuries.

That court heard that Kennedy, from Portrush, attacked him to steal his phone in order to sell it for money to buy alcohol.

Trial judge Mr Justice Weir said at the time that Kennedy posed a “high risk of harm” to the public.

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