Woman to stand trial over ‘false alibi’ in David Black murder case

David Black
David Black

A woman alleged to have given a false alibi to a man who was once accused of a prison officer’s murder has been sent for trial accused of perverting justice.

Appearing in the dock of Craigavon Magistrates Court in a white jacket and black trousers, Fiona McFadden (29) confirmed that she understood the single charge against her and that she was not objecting to the Preliminary Enquiry committal proceedings but did not wish to say anything about the charge.

McFadden, from Killough Gardens, is accused of perverting the course of justice on November 6, 2012 by telling police investigating the murder of prison officer David Black that a man accused of the murder was with her, in her home between 4pm and 9.30pm on 31 October.

Mr Black from Cookstown was shot dead on the M1 in County Armagh in November 2012 and he was on his way to work at Maghaberry Prison when the attack happened.

The 52-year-old father of two was the first prison officer in Northern Ireland to be murdered in almost 20 years.

Another man, 37-year-old Damien Joseph McLaughlin, from the Kilmascally Road in Dungannon, has already been sent to the Crown Court for trial facing four charges in relation to the murder of prison officer Black including aiding and abetting his murder, possessing an article, namely a Toyota Camry car for use in terrorism, preparing a terrorist act by starting and moving the Toyota car which the killers used in the murder and a final charge of belonging or professing to belong to a proscribed organisation, the IRA, with all the offences dated on 31 October and 1 November 2012.

On Friday, a prosecution lawyer submitted there was a Prima Facie case against McFadden and as her lawyer had no contrary submissions, District Judge Peter King committed her to Craigavon Crown Court for trial and ordered her to appear there for arraignment on 13 November.

In applying for Legal Aid to be extended so that a senior QC can be instructed, McFaddens lawyer said there were “complex” issue surrounding the case including a “substantial volume” of CCTV footage and a potential joinder application to attach her case to that of McLaughlin’s.

Judge King granted the application for two counsel and released McFadden on continuing bail.