THE police announcement tonight that they are no longer treating the death of 40-year-old Robin McMaster in Ballymena as murder came just hours after a woman made her latest appearance in court in connection with a fraud by false representation charge.
Angela Irwin (53) was arrested last week after Mr McMaster’s body was found at his flat in the Devenagh Court area of Ballymena on November 22.
On November 22, police said the death was being treated as murder but last night (Thursday November 29), Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna 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.”
Last week Angela Irwin had been arrested on suspicion of murder and after being released last Friday on bail pending further enquiries was then re-arrested and charged with fraud by false representation and appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Saturday.
Irwin, whose address was, on Thursday, listed as the same as Mr McMaster’s in Devenagh Court, first appeared at court on November 24 charged with fraud by false representation relating to November 21/22.
The charge was that she ‘dishonestly made a false representation, namely ordering prescription medication with the intention by making the representation to make a gain for yourself or another or to cause a loss to the Northern Health & Social Services Trust’.
At Saturday’s court a police officer said he was objecting to bail because there was no suitable address for the defendant and he said the defendant was at a risk of self-harming with prescription drugs.
The detective had told that court: “She is still a suspect in a potential murder investigation”.
At Saturday’s Court, defence solicitor Nigel McIlrath said it was hopeful a bed could be secured for the defendant at Holywell Hospital in Antrim “at the start of the week”.
Irwin had been granted bail with a condition that she must reside at Holywell Hospital.
It emerged at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday she had not yet gone to Holywell and subsequently been remanded in custody to Hydebank Prison, from where she appeared via video link.
She confirmed her name and that she could hear what was being said.
Mr McIlrath told Thursday’s Court a doctor was due to see the defendant on Thursday afternoon to assess if she was suitable to go into Holywell.
Adjourning the case to December 20, District Judge Nigel Broderick said there was consent between the defence and prosecution for Irwin to go to the hospital if deemed appropriate or to be released on bail to an address approved by police.