Witness who withheld evidence in William McKeeney murder trial jailed

A witness who tried to withhold evidence in the murder trial of Donegal man William McKeeney has been sentenced to 15 months’ detention.

19-year-old Umar Bhatti, was called to testify at the trial of his cousin, 19-year-old Adel Ishaq, and a friend, 20-year-old Asif Rehman.

The judge, Lord Uist, warned Bhatti and then held him to be in contempt of court during last month’s trial at the High Court in Kilmarnock.

Sentencing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, the judge said that Bhatti had deliberately withheld evidence from the court. And the judge said given his previous convictions it was obvious the 19-year-old had no regard for the law.

Ishaq and Rehman were convicted of kicking Mr McKeeney to death, but the allegation that the attack had been racially motivated was deleted from the charge. They have still to be sentenced.