Suspect took his own life in between checks of cell

A SELF-CONFESSED killer deemed to be a suicide risk has taken his own life in custody.

Shane Rogers was found dead yesterday in a holding cell at Cloverhill Courthouse in the grounds of Cloverhill Prison, where he had been on remand for just over a week.

Two separate investigations by gardaí and the Prison Service are now under way to try to find out how the 32-year-old managed to kill himself when his mental state was known and he was being checked every 15 minutes.

Rogers, from Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, was charged last week with the murder of 35-year-old James Hughes from Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, in a shooting in Dundalk in the early hours of Sunday, December 11.

Mr Hughes, a father of three, was sitting in a taxi when he was shot. A female friend, Patricia Byrne, 21, and the taxi driver, Anthony Callan, were injured in the incident.

Dundalk District Court heard last week that Rogers handed himself in to gardaí in Monaghan, told them he was responsible and expressed remorse for what he had done.

Sergeant Kieran Moore told the court that after the accused was arrested, he apologised to Mr Hughes and the dead man’s family and friends, and to Patricia Byrne.

He also said: “I cannot live with myself for doing this.”

Sgt Moore agreed with a defence solicitor who said Rogers was devastated and a suicide risk.

Judge Flan Brennan remanded the accused in custody to Cloverhill, to appear before the court yesterday.

The judge directed that the defendant — who, it is understood, tried to harm himself before turning himself in — receive medical and psychiatric attention while in detention.

He had been taken from his prison cell and moved the short distance to the courthouse for his appearance when he was discovered dead in his cell.

It is understood he had only been placed in the cell at 12.30pm, was checked by members of the prison’s escort service at 12.45pm and found to be fine but managed to take his own life before the next check at 1pm.

Prison officers tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at Tallaght Hospital a short time later.

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