Two men charged over death of PSNI officer

Two men living at the Simon Community hostel in Derry have been charged over the police woman's death

Two homeless men have been charged in connection with the death of PSNI officer Phillipa Reynolds, who died when her patrol car was hit by a stolen vehicle in Derry at the weekend.

Shane Frane, 25, and Conor Clarence, 23, both with addresses at the Simon Community Hostel in Derry, faced a number of charges.

The charges included causing death by dangerous driving, burglary and driving while unfit.

Both defendants were remanded in custody until 9 March.

Derry District Court Judge Barney McElholm described the death of 27-year-old Philippa Reynolds as senseless.

The judge said: "The court would like to take this opportunity to express condolences to Constable Reynolds' family, friends and colleagues at this senseless and needless loss of life."

Mr Frane, 25, who was the driver of the stolen car, was charged with ten offences.

The offences included aggravated vehicle taking causing grievous bodily harm or death, driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

He was also charged with burglary.

The court heard how keys for the Land Cruiser were stolen from a house in the Fountain Hill area of Derry.

Mr Clarence, 23,  was charged with four counts including aggravated vehicle taking causing death or injury, burglary, criminal damage and assisting an offender.

Both men spoke to confirm their names, ages, addresses and that they understood the charges against them.

They appeared in the dock separated by three prison officers.

As the charges were being read out they were warned to keep quiet.

Judge McElhone said: "I do not want to hear another word out of either of you. Stand there silently."

Mr Clarence's defence solicitor David Brewster said his client was sorry.

Mr Brewster told the court: "He wants to publicly express his apology and regret for the role he had in this tragic incident."

Mr Brewster also said his client had given police a full account and expressed remorse.

Constable Reynolds, from the greater Belfast area, was killed when the unmarked police patrol car she was travelling in was hit by the stolen Land Cruiser, which is believed to have jumped a red light.

She had been sitting in the rear driver's side seat and died instantly.

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Two men charged in connection with death of policewoman