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Road tragedy claims a life

By Francesca Ryan

A local man has died after he was knocked down in West Belfast. Hugh McMurray, a father-of-four from Brooke Drive, was struck by a lorry on Monday morning on the Andersonstown Road.

The road was closed for a period of time close to the Kennedy Centre while police dealt with the incident.

Police have questioned the driver of the lorry in relation to the accident and they have appealed for anyone who witnessed it to contact them.

As Mr McMurray’s family prepare to bury him today (Thursday), Sinn Féin’s Matt Garrett, councillor for the Brooke Drive area, sent his condolences to the family.

“This is a tragic incident,” he said.  “A member of the Brooke community has passed on and it’s sad to have lost someone from the area in such tragic circumstances.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to this gentleman’s family and we are here to support them in any way we can now or in the future.”

Meanwhile, a court heard that a 30-year-old Lenadoon man who cycled through two police cordons at the scene of the fatal crash was going to an appointment at the dole office.

Joseph Peoples, of Lenadoon Avenue, was appearing at Belfast Magistrates Court for breaching bail on charges of disorderly behaviour and assaulting police in June.

A PSNI officer revealed to the court that Peoples ignored two police cordons put in place on Monday morning after the crash.

The officer, who appealed for bail to be revoked, said Peoples could only be stopped when he was at the scene of the crash.

“He cycled past one cordon, went past the second cordon and could only be stopped where the initial scene was,” he said.

“He disregarded any attempts by police to stop him at what was a traumatic scene for my colleagues.”

Peoples’ solicitor said his client was “on his way to the social security agency for an appointment”.

He added that Peoples had been experiencing difficulties sleeping and had taken “four to five cans of beer” the night before “to get him to sleep”.

“His behaviour was impaired by the amount of alcohol he had consumed,” he said.

Revoking bail, District Judge Rosie Watters said “every month he is arrested for something similar”.

“There is something going wrong at the moment and probation is not working,” she added.  “Does it look to anyone in this court that he is going to stop now? How many people get themselves into trouble going to the dole office in the morning?”

Peoples was remanded in custody to appear again on August 21 by videolink.

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