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Husband of car fire victim Katrina Rainey appears in court charged with her murder

The former midwife, who was aged in her 50’s was a mother to six children.
Katrina Rainey

Katrina Rainey

Tanya Fowles

The husband of Katrina Rainey has appeared before a special court sitting charged with her murder, just a few hours before devastated family and friends gathered for her funeral.

Thomas Rainey (59) of Quarry Road, Knockloughrim, Co Derry who appeared by video-link from police custody, is accused of committing the offence on 12 October.

A detective from the PSNI Major Investigation Team told Dungannon Magistrates Court she could connect the accused to the charge.

Mrs Rainey, known as ‘Trina’ and was trapped inside a Peugeot car which was engulfed in flames, shortly after 5.30am, outside the family’s farmhouse home.

NI Ambulance Service responded to a 999 call reporting a car was on fire. Three emergency crews were dispatched along with two doctors. Despite being rushed to Causeway Hospital. Mrs Rainey passed away from her injuries having sustained 95% burns to her body.

The former midwife, who was aged in her 50’s was a mother to six children.

The defendant was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital Burns Unit by ambulance, where he was treated for injuries to his hands and head.

He remained under guard throughout his time in hospital before being discharged into police custody, when he was arrested in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile the family home was sealed off while forensic officers scoured the scene and police confirmed a murder investigation had been launched.

Officers maintained a presence at the property for some time, during which the burned shell of the Peugeot car was loaded onto a trailer and taken away for examination.

Over the course of three days, police were granted a number of extensions to detain Rainey for further questioning.

Late on Friday night, news broke that he had been charged with murder.

At court, he appeared with his right hand heavily bandaged and there were obvious burns to his face.

He spoke very softly only to confirm his identity and that he understood the charge.

A defending barrister advised there would be no application for bail at this stage and pointed out police are of the view Rainey is a significant risk to himself.

District Judge Mark McGarrity remanded Rainey in custody to appear by video-link at Magherafelt Magistrates Court later this month.

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