Ballymena woman charged with ‘preventing the lawful burial of a corpse’

Ballymena Court

A woman has appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court charged with ‘preventing the lawful burial of a corpse’.

The details of the charge allege that Angela Irwin (54), committed the offence between November 13 and November 22 last year.

The defendant, whose address was previously given as Devenagh Court in Ballymena, is now listed as Holywell Hospital in Antrim.

She faces a second charge of ‘fraud by false representation’ by allegedly ‘ordering prescription medication from a General Practitioner on the pretence that such medication was for the treatment of another’ on November 21.

The defendant is also charged with forging a transfer of an energy provider agreement on November 22.

She appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court for a Preliminary Enquiry – the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court.

A prosecutor submitted that on the basis of the papers before the court there was a case to answer.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said he had no contrary submissions.

District Judge Nigel Broderick sent the case to Antrim Crown Court for arraignment in September.

The court was told the defendant had previously been granted bail but was preferring to remain in custody.

Thursday’s hearing was the first time the ‘preventing the lawful burial of a corpse’ charge was before the court.

A previous court heard the fraud charge was in relation to prescription medication “belonging to a deceased person”.

The charges Irwin faces follow the death of Robin McMaster (40), whose body was found at Devenagh Court on November 22.

On November 22, police said his death was being treated as murder.

Irwin had originally been arrested on suspicion of murder before being released on bail pending further enquiries.

She was then re-arrested and charged with fraud by false representation.

On November 29, police then said: “Following our enquiries we are no longer treating this is as a murder investigation. CID detectives in Ballymena are however continuing to look into the circumstances of his death.”

A previous court heard it alleged that Irwin had taken “prescription medication belonging to a deceased person”.

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