Five-of-five ‘stabbed to death after assaulting alleged killers’

Karol Kelly
Karol Kelly

A father-of-five was chased and stabbed to death after he assaulted his alleged killers at a house party in Londonderry, the High Court heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutors said Karol Kelly, 35, was knifed in the chest during the subsequent attack at Grafton Street in the Rosemount area of the city on March 4.

Details emerged as a 17-year-old youth charged with his murder was refused bail.

Although the boy is not suspected of inflicting any stab wounds, a judge was told he was allegedly involved in pushing the victim’s head against a van.

Two co-accused, brothers Sean Anderson, 19, and Gary Anderson, 20, of Grafton Street, are also charged with the murder.

On the night he died, according to the prosecution, Mr Kelly and another man entered the Andersons’ home and assaulted them during a party.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire claimed the brothers and the 17-year-old chased the assailants when they left the house.

“It was then they caught up with Mr Kelly that he suffered an injury which led to his death, a stab wound to his chest.”

The court was told a witness claims that at one point the youth, who cannot be identified, asked the others to stop the attack.

According to the defence case he took any knife away from his co-accused, the judge pointed out.

Opposing bail, Mr Maguire argued that graffiti has appeared in Londonderry about targeting the alleged perpetrators of the killing.

He said most of it referred to the Andersons, but some also related to the youngest accused.

Mr Justice Horner asked if he was suggesting the actions of vigilantes should impact on the court.

But with a formal threat message served on the youth, Mr Maguire responded: “There’s a likelihood of considerable and dangerous public disturbance if the applicant was to reside in Derry city, and the applicant himself would be at risk.”

He also confirmed the opinion of senior counsel will be sought on the issue of charging the boy on a joint enterprise basis.

Defence counsel Plunkett Nugent countered that none of the graffiti related to his client.

He also argued that unlike the “riot” which broke out when the Andersons first appeared before Londoderry Magistrates’ Court, no disorder accompanied the youth’s appearance days later.

Denying bail, the judge cited the potential risk of re-offending.

However, urging the prosecution to make progress, Mr Justice Horner also acknowledged: “It seems to be common case that he was not the one that used the knife on Mr Kelly.”