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Odhran Kelly murder: Woman caught carrying body in ‘wrong place, wrong time, potentially’

Stephanie McClelland
Stephanie McClelland

A Lurgan woman captured on CCTV carrying the body of Odhran Kelly “seems to be wrong place, wrong time, potentially,” a judge said today (Friday).

Granting bail to 36-year-old Stephanie McClelland, Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes said while “I fully appreciate” why the police were objecting to her being freed, “at the height of the prosecution case, at the moment, it appears to be a woman with no previous, at the wrong place, at the wrong time.”

“Someone else is charged with perverting the course of justice and they have been granted police bail so it is appropriate for grant bail in this case,” he told Craigavon Magistrates’ Court.

McClelland, from Shan Slieve in Lurgan, is accused that knowing another person had committed murder, she assisted that offender to impede their apprehension, prosecution or detention on December 3, this year by “disposing of the body of Odhran Kelly.”

Facing the same charge is 43-year-old Andrea Stevenson, from Edward Street in Lurgan while two men, Shane Harte, 31, from Headington House and Gary Damien Scullion, 31, from Edward Street, both in Lurgan, are in custody charged with the murder.

During a bail application on behalf of McClelland today, Det. Srg. Donnelly outlined that when police were called to a car on fire on Edward Street just after 4am on 3 December, officers discovered a “badly burnt body” lying beside the burnt out vehicle.

Officers called at there last registered address, Stevenson’s flat on Edward Street but on their way, they spotted a “large amount of blood” on the door of Scullion’s flat opposite the property and when they went inside, officers discovered blood covered beer bottles, “a signifiant amount off congealed blood, drug paraphernalia, a large amount of cash and gloves with blood on them.”

DS Donnelly said when officers went into Stevenson’s flat it “smelled strongly of bleach” and there was a male, dressed in just his boxer shorts, sitting in the kitchen where there was “clothing and blood stained washing in the washing machine.”

“He was arrested for murder,” said the detective, as were McClelland and Stevenson.

During initial interviews McClelland denied involvement but she later admitted it was her captured on CCTV “carrying the body” of Mr Kelly from the flats to the car.

Turning to bail objections, DS Donnelly said the murder investigation was still live and ongoing so officers were still conducting enquires with witnesses and he agree with the judge that police are “worrying about her safety” too.

He said police believed her role was “in the aftermath taking the deceased to a vehicle where the deceased was burnt….she was seen on CCTV with another female and a male carrying the body to the vehicle.”

Under crosse examination from defence counsel Barry McKenna, DS Donnelly agreed the undisclosed bail address was “far enough away” from the area and also that McClelland has one single monitoring conviction.

The detective also agreed that McClelland had denied being involved in the murder or being involved in the burning of Mr Kelly’s body.

“Is it the case that she just happened to be visiting a friend that night,” enquired District Judge Holmes and the officer agreed “that’s possible, enquiries are ongoing” but that is what McClelland claimed during interviews.

Granting bail in the sum of £500, the judge also ordered McClelland to reside at the undisclosed address, to have “no contact in any way, shape or from” with witnesses or co-accused, to report to police three times per work and to observe a curfew.

Adjourning the case to 16 February, Judge Holmes also barred her from social media, advising McClelland that “trust me, it’s for your own good.”

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