Legal challenge dropped to Arkinson inquest

The man suspected of murdering Castlederg teenager Arlene Arkinson is withdrawing his legal challenge to an inquest into her death, it has been reported.

The man suspected of murdering Castlederg teenager Arlene Arkinson is withdrawing his legal challenge to an inquest into her death, it has been reported.

The 15-year-old disappeared after attending a disco in Bundoran in 1994. Convicted child killer Robert Howard was the last person to see the teenager alive in August 1994. Despite extensive searches Arlene’s remains have never been found.

Efforts to hold an inquest into her death have been held up held up partly because Robert Howard - the chief suspect in Arlene’s death - mounted a challenge in the courts.

UTV is reporting that the challenge had been withdrawn allowing an inquest to take place.

Arlene’s sister Kathleen Arkinson said Howard holds the key to her whereabouts. “Well, this is his chance now to tell where Arlene is and get it off his chest and let us take Arlene home and give her a decent burial.

“If there’s anything left in him, give Arlene back. Please give Arlene up, because we’re not going to give up until we find her.”

Howard was cleared of Arlene’s murder in 2005. His previous convictions for rape, murder and child abuse were withheld from the jury. He is serving life in prison for the murder of 14-year-old Hannah Williams, whose body was found in Kent in 2002.

Northern Ireland’s chief coroner, John Leckey, has stated he intends to call Robert Howard as a witness in the inquest.