Analysis

Judge lets NI police withhold evidence from inquest of teenager Noah Donohoe, who family believe murdered

Police have ruled out foul play to the outrage of family and others, who ask how boy’s body turned up naked in storm drain and believe real circumstances have been covered up to protect ‘connected’ figure or figures

A judge in Northern Ireland has granted the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) permission to withhold evidence in the inquest into the June 2020 death of Noah Donohoe, the 14yo boy whose naked body was found in a storm drain during a prolonged dry spell.

Many locals believe that Noah was killed by a person or persons with police or security service connections, but the police decided there was no reason to suspect foul play, despite his body being found, stripped naked, a mile from where he was last seen – and despite private CCTV footage of Noah riding naked through a housing estate as well as public CCTV of him, fully dressed, on his bike, just before his disappearance.

As a detailed thread by a supporter of the family details, police sealed off a white van in the city for forensic examination. No further information on the search has ever been revealed. Two men were seen near the top of a cul de sac in which Noah was seen, but no appeal was made for information on their identity.

Some of Noah’s belongings were discovered some distance from the site where his body was found, but his underwear, shorts, t-shirt and jacket have not been found.

No one has come forward saying they saw Noah removing his clothes outside, nor has camera footage been found. His body was found inside a storm drain, 950m from the nearest entrance point on Northwood Road, despite the weather having been dry for several weeks. The cause of death was drowning, but no samples of the water from his lungs were analysed – or if they were, it has not been disclosed.

No drugs were found in his system and early briefings to the press by police that he had suffered a head injury before his disappearance and may have been concussed were not true.

A CCTV capture of Noah, fully clothed, minutes before his disappearance.

Some time later, a local drug addict was charged with trying to sell Noah’s laptop. He said he found the laptop in a backpack under a bridge near Ulster University and saw someone else acting suspiciously near it. Noah’s phone was found in Northwood Road and household CCTV footage in the same road showed him, first cycling and then running, naked and apparently scared. Footage from the many CCTV cameras around the university was not checked, as far as has been made public.

Despite Noah appearing on CCTV footage near the time of his death, including once after his clothes were removed, police reportedly only examined footage from twenty-two of the more than 180 CCTV cameras in the vicinity. No explanation has been given for the failure to check all available evidence. According to family and friends, tip-offs from members of the public, on the PSNI website, about what they had seen were removed.

Police claimed to have made a leaflet drop in Northwood Road asking for evidence, but there appears to be no evidence that it happened. A month before Noah’s death, another boy had been brutally beaten and robbed in the same area.

And despite these and many other worrying facts and anomalies, police maintain that there was ‘no foul play’ – a claim they started making even before an autopsy had been conducted.

Now, according to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Justice Michael Humphreys, Northern Ireland’s presiding coroner, has given the police permission to withhold evidence from the inquest on the basis that it would compromise national security and the public interest:

The PII application related to material in three police folders that will be used during the inquest.

The requested redactions relate to reference numbers, grading of intelligence, information relating to police sources, and details of PSNI investigative methodologies.

The PSNI argued that disclosing the information would damage national security interests… The substantive part of the PII hearing was held behind closed doors and excluded the Donohoe family

Justice Humphreys said: “Disclosure of the redacted material would give rise to a real risk of serious harm to the public interest.

The judge claimed that,

The representatives of the next of kin can be assured that nothing has been redacted which shows that any third party was involved in Noah Donohoe’s death, nor that would suggest there has been any cover-up in the course of the investigation.

But why does information relating to the supposedly unsuspicious death of a 14yo boy need to be withheld to protect the public interest and ‘national security’?

Some 300,000 people signed a petition against the withholding of the evidence and many protested outside the courtroom as the decision was made. The Donohoe family continue to fight for justice and transparency over the death of their son, but it seems the apparatus of state is ranged against them. The inquest will take place in November, under a different judge.

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18 comments

  1. ‘Public interest’ and ‘National Security’. Justice is often obviated when powerful people – or the systems they control – cite them as relevant factors. It’s a give-away.

    The 300,000 petition signatures would be greatly increased if Britain had a genuinely investigative and responsible free press that talked Truth to Power. Thanks Skwawkbox.

    1. The whole thing is a disgrace! This is not new to me
      and am just going to check whether I signed the
      petition or heard of it another way ..

      1. Remember when the Law was something we thought protected us, when the Police didn’t kill us with impunity, when we had Legal Aid, when our testimonies meant something, that carried power and action, when we had a MSM that would cover the story not the fucking email they just received!?
        Those were the days!
        Everything is like a hellishly macabre commedy, filled with the most outragious and unbelievable evil!

    2. 43 years grinding ruts and whips to fully realise and entrench Thatcher/Reagan’s Western flavour of Globalist Neoliberal One Party State in all Western Nations.
      The Destruction of CHOICE The return of Western Fuedalism and Forced Compliance of the Manufactured Peasantry.
      The removal of ALL rights, the occupation of ALL agencies, commissions, organisations, etc including the UN, WEF, WHO, ICC, ECHC, etc.
      The annihilation of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Choice & Health Choice, etc!
      All those things and so much more shifted my hopes on a Russia/China New World Order it simply and certainly can’t be any more shit than the Western Old World Order! Unless someone pulls a gigantic fluffy bunny rabbit from a top hat!
      Things are looking dire, if they are not perhaps apply some empathy and put yourself in a positions a fair few steps bellow you, and always be mindfil falling down those steps anly takes a moment to fall down them and believe me when life says no, you are not going back up them stairs! It is all the more dire for the fact that The PEOPLE are in Check Mate before they’ve even made their move!

    1. This story made me sick to my stomach, image what that boy went through, imagine being the mum or dad and comming to terms with the whole thng!
      I can’t help think about the Palestinian mothers and fathers who also have to come to terms with such un just actions of Impunity and negligence of humanity!

  2. There is clearly something very nasty being covered up when permission is given to the police withhold information (on the grounds of national security and the public interest) about the terrible death of a child.

  3. For people over here in the wee 6 this is no surprise. The cops have been pulling stunts like this for decades. ” National security ” or the ultimate oxymoron ” police intelligence ” is the mantra.

    1. N.I, kids, national security, RUC – doesn’t matter if the uniforms are rainbow colours- Colin Wallace, 5 and 6, Tara, this is a long running sore. Nothing will be revealed, no-one will come forward. I have been following this stuff for decades and it is dark and very frightening. A good place to see how far back this goes would be to read Lobster Magazine, a lot of stuff is freely available and some older material is charged but it’s worth the dosh. Nasty, dirty evil stuff. Check the links. Spotlight mag used to name names but It stopped a while ago. Why?? Dunno. Be wary when you research this muck and stay open minded. I feel for the family and would like to believe that they will one day see justice done. Victims are rightly terrified of coming forward. Didn’t know how scary aprons can be, these aren’t the aprons granny wears when she bakes cakes. It ain’t spoons that get licked.

    1. I apologise Skwawky. It’s just that weird things lurk in the reeds. All the best.

    1. better not call sir keir

      …Useful?

      …A socialist?

      …Forensic?

      C’mon…gizza clue?

  4. Nellyskelly, “Remember when..”, and coppers would clip little boys round the ear. No not in Brixton, Mapp and Lucia land maybe.

    1. As we well know now, but I guess there is much that most of us were in Mapp and Lucia Land over, at one point or another. There is a definate pre-internet world and post-internet world.
      Which on the Mainstream Internet has shrunk dramatically even tor and firefox os no long trustworthy, sure I can freely read and watch RT, PressTV, etc, but I am sure that there are files with mine and every bugger else’s tor logs in them, somewhere!

    2. Reply to Wobbly
      There is a lot in what you say Wobbly – in addition to the serious issues you raise look at the way e.g. the miners were treated, the anti apartheid movement, CND and most recently the socialist revival under Jeremy Corbyn. The paranoia of the establishment, MI5 etc is there for all to see.

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