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Last Updated: Monday, 27 June, 2005, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Man is cleared of Arkinson murder
Arlene Arkinson
Arlene Arkinson went missing after attending a disco in County Donegal
A 61-year-old Tyrone man accused of murdering the missing schoolgirl Arlene Arkinson has been found not guilty.

The jury acquitted Robert Howard, formerly of Main Street, Castlederg, of killing the teenager in 1994.

Last week, Mr Howard was acquitted of asking a former partner's daughter to lie for him.

The jury was sent home for the night after being unable to reach verdicts on three other counts of perverting the course of justice, which he denies.

Arlene vanished near her home in Castlederg after attending a disco at Bundoran in County Donegal with friends in August 1994.

Searches

Extensive searches were carried out but no firm evidence of the 15-year-old still being alive has ever been found and her body has not been discovered.

The teenager was last seen in a car driven by Robert Howard.

The prosecution had accused him of trying to conceal his movements on the night Arlene went missing and getting others to lie for him.

They claimed he had the opportunity to kill her and dispose of her body.

However, the defence said this was speculation and said the jury had to be sure that Arlene was dead and that Mr Howard had killed her.

They depicted Arlene as a troubled teenager, who had talked to friends about running away.

After more than 21 hours of deliberation over six days, the jury acquitted Robert Howard of murder.





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