10/02/2017 BBC Newsline


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Good evening, our top stories on BBC Newsline tonight...


A West Belfast father is found not guilty of killing his baby daughter.


Police failings in their search for


this young man were inexplicable, inexcusable


His family welcomed the corner's finding. It has been so hard to find


answers, the search was not done properly.


A lucky escape for a County Antrim family, as a slurry tanker crashes


Controversy over who will chair talks after the Assembly election -


one former American chairman rules himself out.


The geese who fly in from Iceland to winter in Belfast's Shankill.


On a bumper weekend of rugby, illness sees Ireland's Rory Best


While here in Belfast, Ulster aim for rehabilitation


And the cold weather continues this weekend,


I'll have your full forecast later in the programme.


A man has been found not guilty of murdering his baby daughter.


Caragh Walsh was three months old when she died in February 2014.


Her father - Christopher O'Neill from the Whiterock Road


in West Belfast - was accused of her murder.


The jury at Craigavon Crown Court, sitting in Armagh, this afternoon


Throughout the four-week trial, Christopher O'Neill denied any


suggestion that he found bye-bye Caragh, saying that he loved her to


bits. -Year-old from West Belfast was accused of killing his


three-month-old baby daughter by shooting her violently whilst in a


rage at her home in February 20 14. During the trial, he said that he


had shaken her, trying to revive her, she thought she was dying,


bye-bye Caragh died in hospital two days later.


In Craigavon Crown Court, the jury of 10,000,001 woman, fined by


majority verdict of at least ten to one was not guilty of killing his


baby daughter. -- the jury of one man, ten men, one women. The family


side with Billy. In the gallery behind him, the baby's mother stood


up and shouted, you killed my baby, my baby is dead because of you. She


was led from the court room with her family. Still in the dock, Mr


O'Neill put his head in his hands. When the judge said he was free to


leave, his family applauded and have Tim and said, we love you. Mr


O'Neill's solicitor said it had been a difficult case with no winners.


A coroner has criticised police for failing to find a young man


who died after going missing from a mental health unit.


His body was found ten weeks later close to the unit


22-year-old James Fenton had been identified as "high risk"


after telling staff he wanted to kill himself.


The family of James Fenton were at court this afternoon


for what marked the end of long, difficult and at times


It's been our horrendously long road, not just for a few months, but


for 6.5 years. It has been so, so hard.


22-year-old James Fenton went missing from Ward 27


at the Mental Health Unit in early July 2010.


And police were called in to search the grounds


They failed to find the missing man, whose body was discovered


less than 40 metres from the Mental Health


The coroner was a very critical of the police response when James


Fenton went missing from the mental health unit. He describe you feel


size inexplicable, -- describe refill yours as inexplicable and


excusable. It was said that he could have found them more quickly


although it could not be said with Steve would have been alive. --


could not have said whether he would have been alive.


A police ombudsman report was also critical of how the case


was handled and 12 officers were subsequently disciplined.


The PSNI has since changed its policy and practices on missing


persons as a direct result of the Fenton case.


The coroner described the actions of the hospital staff at the time


But he had harder words for the PSNI.


Joe McCrisken said consideration should have been given


to a police dog search, which may have led to Mr Fenton


being found shortly after he'd absconded.


Today, the PSNI issued a wholehearted apology to the Fenton


family for the police failings in this case.


I am hoping things will change. I know that the PSNI have changed. We


have changed how to search for a missing person but they cannot make


the excuse of not enough funding for mental health, things have to


change. How many more people have to lose their lives?


The coroner found that, due to advanced decomposition,


the cause of James Fenton's death was unascertainable,


although it was his view that the young man died


shortly after he climbed over the gate and absconded from


the Ulster Hospital's Mental Health Unit.


Mervyn Jess, BBC Newsline, at Belfast Coroner's Court.


A care worker found guilty of abusing elderly residents


at a care home in Dunmurray has been sentenced


41-year-old Lisa Cullen from Lagmore Drive in Dunmurray


was sentenced after pleading guilty to assaulting a whistleblower


from the home at a previous court appearance.


Our reporter, Dan Stanton, was in court.


Lisa Cullen leaving court after being found guilty of abusing


patients. She was released on bail because she is appealing her


sentence. The judge said she had shown no


remorse or change of attitude since being found guilty of the ill


treatment of elderly patients in her care. The judge sentenced her to a


total of four months in jail. The offences took place sometime


between November 2012 and December 2013 at this care home in Dunmurray.


Five elderly patients, two men, three women, were mistreated there.


Relatives of the patients at the Kilwee nursing home Clapton Court


after the sentence was passed. It was the hardest thing we have ever


done was to put our model there, and to find out that she hit my mother,


its soul destroying. She told my husband she had full Alzheimer's,


was like a baby, and was better to go out and run around traffic. She


was sentenced today after assaulting a whistle-blower on the grounds of


Lisburn Magistrates Court after a previous hearing. She had a vendetta


against me, she hated me for some reason, I do not know what, I have


been tortured, I have been just literally tortured from all of this


happening, she seems to have passed the blame onto me and be alone. Lisa


Cullen didn't say anything as she was being driven away from court.


A County Antrim man says he's been left in shock after a slurry tank


crashed through a wall into his front garden


Our north east reporter Sara Girvin has the story.


CCTV shows the dramatic moment a slurry tank crashes


It missed the home itself, in Glenavy, by less than a metre.


The homeowner, who was in the property at the time,


said he's just glad no-one was hurt.


Well, obviously quite shocked, but believed, it could have been so much


worse. If somebody was standing here, you can see where parts of the


wall have gone flying. It could have been worse if myself, children or


anyone had been there, postman, anybody at all!


The Belfast Road was closed for a time while the car,


tractor and slurry tank involved in the crash were removed.


Oil also had to be cleaned up, but the road has reopened.


Plans by the Health Minister Michelle O'Neill to tackle hospital


waiting lists have been criticised by the DUP Leader Arlene Foster.


In a letter, Mrs Foster responded to Minister O'Neill's


thirty-one million pound plan to treat patients who have been


The DUP leader accused Sinn Fein of electioneering.


But Sinn Fein hit back saying the DUP were trying


to deflect attention away from the RHI scandal.


Opposition to the Secretary of State chairing negotiations after


Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance have doubted James Brokenshire's


suitability after he claimed inquiries into Troubles-related


killings were disproportionately focused on the police and army.


Here's our political correspondent Gareth Gordon.


The Secretary of State used an address to business leaders


in Belfast last night to call for an early return to power


But after his recent claim that there is too much focus


on Troubles killings carried out by the security forces,


is he the person to lead the negotiations?


If you look at his actions to date, for example his comments in relation


to British soldiers being given immunity, and the views of the


people of the North who want to stay within the European Union, his


one-sided partisan views on a lot of things, I don't believe he is an


honest broker. Unionists came to the Secretary


of State's defence. We have tried International chairs


in the past, with no success. We are part of the United Kingdom. The


Secretary of State is the Secretary of State. If they are going into


further negotiations, I would expect the Secretary of State to cheer


them. Sinn Fein want a period of direct rule. The person they are


criticising, in the form of James Brokenshire, will have


uncontrollable rule over Northern Ireland. From my perspective, I


think the people of Northern Ireland will not react well to Sinn Fein


arrogantly saying the British government should have no role in


the talks. But opposition to the James


Brokenshire having a talks role There is no way whatsoever now that


the Secretary of State can act as some kind of honest broker, he is


not independent, we need an independent, international figure


who chaired the legacy element of the talks, that's the only way this


can be done. The UK Secretary of State is a key player but has to


reflect the approach is taken to date and change his approach. His


approach to date has been and is viewed as many as being partisan,


which will not produce the results in terms of ensuring that we have


devolution restored to Northern Ireland.


It's one more potential obstacle standing in the way


Now, if the post-election negotiations require


an independent chairman, it won't be Senator George Mitchell.


He chaired the talks which led to the Good Friday Agreement,


of course, but in an interview at Queen's University


in Belfast today, he said the parties don't need him.


He's been speaking to BBC Newsline's Mark Simpson.


How have you been? The last time we met, he was during


crisis talks at Stormont, sort two decades later, is he ready to make a


comeback? I've done my tour of duty here. And I think, in every


situation, you constantly have to meet new challenges. And with new


people and new ideas. I know these men and women, they have been up to


it in the past, they gotten over much bigger hurdles than this, and


kept the process going, and I am confident they will do so again. The


Good Friday Agreement will be 20 years old next year. Some believe it


has now passed its sell by date. And there needs to be a new agreement? I


don't look at it in terms of a new agreement completely replacing an


old agreement. What I look at this as a process of change to meet the


changing circumstances and conditions. Many people watching


will be seeing BSG goes again, always so optimistic, cup holders


half full, he must be worried this agreement is falling apart in front


of our very eyes. -- many people will say, there goes again. I have


been in Northern Ireland, both at home in the process that led to the


agreement and to as Chancellor is this great institution, Queen's


University, to know the basic strength of the people of Northern


Ireland. One of the strengths is there a self-critical and sometimes


they are too much self-critical. I am often asked, isn't it terrible,


these problems we have politics? I said, you are asking an American


that question? You don't think we have problems? That exists all


around the world. Let's concentrate on solutions, rather than on how we


get there. He is now 83 years of age and still working. But as far as


Stormont is concerned, Mitchell has now retired. Mark Sampson, BBC


Newsline at Queen's University. Now, they're seasonal visitors


who return every year. But some of the Greylag geese


who migrate to Belfast have picked a rather unusual spot


to see out the winter. Our Agriculture and Environment


Correspondent, Conor Macauley, They've been coming


to the Shankill Estate for years. These Greylag geese fly


in from Iceland for the winter. It's said that, when they first


arrived, the word went out With an ample supply of food -


both the short grass they favour and what the locals regularly


provide - they've prospered. Greylag geese have been coming to


the Shankill estate for around ten years. These birds are very


site-specific so it is entirely possible that these are the


descendants of the original flock. They're a bit of a


novelty on the estate. The annual arrival a date


in the Shankill calendar. I have a funny feeling it's the same


keys. I know they all look the same, but... They all look the same, but


there is one that of colour around it, and that of colour, so someone


must be monitoring their flight. It may not be the obvious habitat,


what with the potential risks posed by pets and people,


but its working for the Greylags. It seems strange to people walking


past, this flock of geese in the Nir Biton but -- in an urban


environment, but they are safe, needing small amounts of water, and


they can feed here during the day. Every night, they leave


the estate for the lakes Clearly a bird that likes


to spread itself around A woman from Belfast says she had


no hesitation in undergoing major surgery in a bid


to help save a stranger's life. 23-year-old Jenna Armstrong


originally took part in a bone marrow test to help


save a child with cancer. When no match was found,


she was later told she was Our Health Correspondent


Marie-Louise Connolly What better way to celebrate


saving someone's life That's exactly what Jenna Armstrong


did three weeks ago, after donating her bone marrow


to a stranger. It was a no-brainer, it was one of


those things that in my head I had to do. It was a chance to


potentially help save someone in a particularly tricky situation and,


in my head, what I was doing was insignificant what they had been


going through. Last year, 23-year-old Jenna


and her family registered to become That means, if a suitable match


is found, they can donate blood When the call came, Jenna


and her mum travelled I had five injections into my back


and the extracted 1.2 litres of my bone marrow, the maximum they can


take for my height and weight for the person, they told me it was a


29-year-old man in America and he would be receiving the bone marrow


of the day after I needed it. It was emotional because it was before


Christmas and all I could think of was, if that was somebody in my


family, or my child, my brother, my sister, I would hope someone would


do what Jenna has done. Bone marrow is a spongy tissue found


in the hollow centres of some bones. The stem cells found


there are extremely healthy. When pumped into a sick person,


it can help save their life. Here at Queen's University Belfast,


clinical trials continue Basically, what it does is give them


a new immune system, different from the patient. One, and that new


immune system because it is different has the ability to fight


the disease and we know from long-term working on this in the


majority of people this will cure the disease. -- immune system


different from the patient's own. A champion Irish dancer,


Jenna's appealing to others to follow in her footsteps


and to become a blood Sport now and Ireland played Italy


tomorrow. Rory Best will have to sit it out because of injury.


It was a captain's run with a difference for Ireland, no captain


in attendance. Rory Best, who so often leads from the front, was back


in his Hotel room nursing a stomach bug he picked up overnight. The


other always think that crop up in the course of a week and I think how


we react and respond to it will hopefully allow us to continue the


preparation as seamlessly as possible and unfortunately these


things happened, but we are confident he will recover in time


for tomorrow. Before the Ireland team arrived here this afternoon,


another Irishman was that to grace the turf but not playing, the


Italian head coach Colin or she is plotting Ireland's downfall tomorrow


after having war on the show many times. From my point of duty is


someone great. Looking for the players to have a good environment


and working well. If you win tomorrow, I think he is going to be


happy, but for us as a team maybe not him as a person. The game


against Scotland last week left a lot to be desired but that approach


tomorrow will be different. As long as you are prepared and we know our


job, I think that will take care of it and we focus on what we've got to


do and trust the process. We have looked at it during the week and try


to revise and we are in a good place, but it is International Rugby


Board you have to go out there. So all eyes will be on the team


sheet tomorrow, hoping for the best of news.


Next to one of the most romantic and remarkable


Their camogs are in an All-Ireland final, their hurlers


and footballers are also one match away from an all-Ireland final.


They are of course Slaughtneil, who tomorrow take


on Dubiln and Leinster champions St Vincents in the club


One tiny club, one total community effort, the efforts for Slaughtneil


up almost as monumental as the mountains around and between these


played people. The next challenge is to be the best that the metropolis


of Dublin has to offer. Massive challenge ahead, we are under no


illusions how tough it will be, bringing huge physicality to the


game, they are fairly similar to Dublin seniors, it is going to be a


massive battle for us. There are three strands to this story. The


dream is Croke Park on St Patrick's Day. It has been so positive, not


just because of one, but because of the together. -- because of all


three together. We have to embrace that and continue. And now for the


next and final chapter. And best of luck to Slaughtneil. And


it has been chilly, what is in store this weekend?


Not getting any warmer unfortunately and pretty chilly already this


evening, temperature dropping close to freezing. If you are heading to


the all-star match this evening, if you have not left, wrap up warm. But


you can watch from the comfort of your own home on BBC Two. -- Ulster.


Tonight we are looking at widespread frost. If you fancy hill walking


this weekend or heading to the moors, there were some flurries of


snow today, so it will be slippery and it will be bitterly cold. Lots


of dry weather this weekend, just have lots of layers on. As I


mentioned, temperatures falling away tonight. Possibly as low as minus


five in parts of the countryside, not everywhere with sharp frost but


frost in many places to start Saturday morning and taking a while


for it to lift but we expect greater skies tomorrow and largely dry. The


frost it gradually coming out of that ground, cold breeze picking up


again, making it feel really better along parts of the East Coast.


Cloudy skies rollback in from the east during the afternoon, so the


best of the sunshine in the West, temperatures no different from


today. In that wind it will feel better. A lot milder in Italy,


temperatures in the low teens for Ireland's next match and you can


hear that live on BBC Radio Ulster if you are not lucky enough to be


going there. Tomorrow night back home, more cloud around, quite


breezy, some patches of snow, frost tomorrow will be more patchy and


Sunday another cold day. Generally dry but some flurries, quite cold,


cloudy and breezy. As we move into the new week, temperatures will


start to pick up. If you don't like the cold, we expect things to


gradually become less cold next week, is still quite breezy, dry


start, some sunshine, hopefully double figures by the middle of the


week. Cecilia, thank you. You have been


warned, wrap up warm.