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Ennis killing Man charged with murder of mum-of-two Sharon Bennett sent forward for trial

Mr Ballard (34) has been on remand in prison after being initially charged with the assault causing harm of Ms Bennett (29)

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Patrick Ballard

Patrick Ballard

Patrick Ballard

The Ennis man charged with the murder of mother of two, Sharon Bennett was today sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court.

At Ennis District Court today, Garda Ger Cunningham gave evidence of serving the Book of Evidence in the case on solicitor for accused man, Patrick Ballard, Tara Godfrey.

Mr Ballard (34) formerly of Ashford Court Hotel, Ennis has been on remand in prison after being initially charged with the assault causing harm of Wexford native, Ms Bennett (29) in the Market area of Ennis on Thursday, January 28th last.

Ms Bennett died 13 days later at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

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Mother of two, Sharon Bennett

Mother of two, Sharon Bennett

Mother of two, Sharon Bennett

 

In March, the assault charge was withdrawn by the State after the murder charge was brought against Mr Ballard.

Mr Ballard appeared in court today via video-link from Limerick prison where he is currently on remand.

In court, Sgt Aiden Lonergan told Judge Sandra Murphy that the Book of Evidence is now available.

Ms Godfrey successfully applied for legal aid for a senior and junior counsel to represent Mr Ballard at the Central Criminal Court.

Ms Godfrey stated: “I think such an application would not be opposed by the State in all of the circumstances."

Judge Murphy gave a formal alibi warning to Mr Ballard that if an alibi forms any part of his defence that he must inform the State within 10 days.

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Mr Ballard and Ms Bennett were in a relationship at the time of the alleged murder and Ms Bennett was a mother of two girls, aged nine and six from a previous relationship.

Judge Murphy sent forward Mr Ballard for trial to the next sessions of the Central Criminal Court.

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