Driver accused of killing friend ‘not fit to face court’

Claire Gough.
Claire Gough.

A 23-year-old driver, charged with causing the death of her friend, is not fit to face court, her lawyer claimed today (Monday).

Claire Gough, from the Tartaraghan Road in Portadown, is charged with causing the death of Katherine Kelley (21) by driving carelessly and whilst unfit through drink or drugs on November 3, 2012.

Mark Farrell told Craigavon Crown Court he had two expert psychiatric reports which opined that Claire Gough was neither fit to plea nor fit to stand trial.

Gough faces three further allegations of causing grievous bodily injury to Scott Houston, Daniel Dougan and Trevor Foster arising from the same single vehicle crash on the Armagh Road in Portadown.

Previous courts have heard that Gough sustained an “acquired brain injury” in the impact.

She was due to have the charges put to her today at her arraignment but that was adjourned.

Prosecuting lawyer Nicola Auret said given the case was a “very serious matter involving a fatality,” the PPS would be seeking to obtain their own psychiatric report and asked the defence if their client would consent to being examined.

“We so consent,” replied Mr Farrell.

Judge Patrick Lynch QC adjourned the case until January 27 for review.

Miss Kelley was 21 when she sustained her fatal injuries and it was reported at the time that Gough herself was also in a “critical condition.”

At the time Kathy Lennon, Miss Kelley’s mother, spoke of her “pride” that her daughter’s organs had been donated including her liver being given to a seriously ill baby.