Husband of midwife who died after car fire faces court on murder charge

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Scene of the car fire

Q Radio News/PA

The husband of a woman who died after being pulled from a burning car has appeared before a court accused of her murder.

Thomas Rainey, 59, has been charged with the murder of Katrina Rainey at the family farm in Co Derry/Londonderry on Tuesday.

Mrs Rainey, a midwife who was aged in her 50s, died in hospital after sustaining extensive burns in the overnight car blaze outside the farmhouse on the Quarry Road, Knockloughrim.

Her husband, who also required hospital treatment for burn injuries, was remanded in custody after a brief appearance before district judge Mark McGarrity on Saturday morning.

Rainey appeared before the court via video-link from the PSNI’s custody suite at Musgrave police station in Belfast.

He spoke briefly at the start of the hearing when asked to confirm his date of birth.

Katrina Rainey, a midwife who was aged in her 50s, died in hospital after sustaining extensive burns in a car blaze outside a farmhouse on the Quarry Road, Knockloughrim

A PSNI detective constable who interviewed the accused while in custody told the court she could connect him to the charge.

A defence solicitor said he had no questions in relation to the connection and said there would also be no application for bail.

The lawyer asked the police officer to confirm that one of the grounds on which police were objecting to bail being granted was due to a risk of Rainey harming himself.

The officer confirmed that was a police concern.

The solicitor told the judge there was justification for his client to be held in the hospital wing of Maghaberry prison.

“I will be contacting the custody office in Maghaberry this morning, given the police are also of the view that Mr Rainey is a significant risk to himself, that he be housed within the hospital wing,” he said.

“He also has sustained significant burn injuries himself.”

The accused is due to appear before court again, via video-link, on November 10.

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