Coroner pledge over inquest into Sean Brown’s murder

Sean Brown
Sean Brown

A coroner has said he will do everything in his power to have an inquest into the murder of Bellaghy man Sean Brown held “as soon as possible”.

Mr Brown was abducted and murdered by an LVF gang in 1997. He was found shot dead beside his burning car near Randalstown.

Relatives of the father-of-six have hit out delays in the case threatening legal action unless the inquest goes ahead.

Last week, the Irish News reported that coroner John Leckey said he had always felt the case was “one of the most horrendous murders in the course of the Troubles and I would be keen to give some priority to it”.

One area of concern was a failure by the PSNI to pass case files to the coroner’s office.

Ken Boyd, a legal representative for the PSNI, confirm that preparatory work on non-sensitive police documents should be finished by May or June.

The 24 files will have to be passed to the coroner for consideration and he has already received 64 sensitive documents which he said he would “move promptly” on.

The court heard that all relevant documents could be given to the Brown family’s legal team by mid-summer and the case could be listed for hearing in early autumn.

The coroner who is involved with other Troubles related inquests, said he was prepared to do everything in his power to have the inquest held promptly.

“If we reach a stage where the Sean Brown inquest can be held I will look at what my other commitments are and I will pull out all the stops to ensure there’s a hearing as soon as possible,” he said. A further preliminary hearing will be held before the end of March.