Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Ex-policeman is charged with 1989 murder of OAP Annabella Symington

A former policeman is due in court today charged with the murder of an 80-year-old widow strangled to death in her in south Belfast home 21 years ago.

Ken McConnell (58), who now works as a security guard at the University of Ulster, is accused of strangling Annabella Symington in her home on Halloween night in 1989.

He will appear at Laganside Magistrates Court this morning.

A PSNI spokesman said: “As is normal practice, the charge will be reviewed by the PPS.”

On Wednesday police were granted a further 24 hours to question the suspect, who they confirmed was arrested in Carrickfergus on Tuesday.

Mrs Symington was found strangled at her home on October 31, 1989. Part of her cardigan had been stuffed into her mouth.

The case baffled local people after it emerged there were two used cups found in the living room and there were no signs of forced entry or damage to the house.

Earlier this week neighbours of Ms Symington recalled her as quiet, private woman. One said: “She never did much entertaining, yet there were two cups and saucers on her draining board when she was found dead.”

Her neighbours said she seemed to have few visitors. She had no children, and according to her death notice, was survived by sisters Sally, Emily and Florence.

Some Willesden Park residents bought their houses not long after they were built around 50 years ago. One has lived in her house in Willesden Park for 43 years.

She said: “Mrs Symington did keep herself to herself. I used to go around the houses collecting for charity and she never invited me in.”

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