Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Murder accused's tears at news of wife's death

The son of a retired police officer accused of murdering his wife described how his father “burst into tears” when he heard of her death.

Matthew Haveron told Belfast Crown Court that he and his father Joseph had just returned home after lunch with his grandparents when his father received a telephone call.

“He hung up the phone and burst into tears. I had never seen my father act like that before,” Mr Haveron told prosecuting QC Liam McCollum.

“He said ‘I'm so sorry son' repeatedly, and I kept asking him what was wrong. It was quite scary for me because I didn't have a clue what was happening.”

Mr Haveron, who was aged 18 when his mother Pauline was murdered, did not find out what had happened until they got to his aunt's house in Parkgate, just outside Ballyclare, and his brother Jonathan told him their mother was dead.

At the time of the killing Haveron and his part-time nurse wife had come through an acrimonious divorce, having separated in 2003. The jury have heard their eldest child Jonathan recount how he witnessed numerous bouts of domestic abuse over the years.

Yesterday the couple’s youngest child Matthew called his mother’s younger lover, Andrew Jones, “just a friend”, but said he was also his tutor for an A-Level and GCSE subject.

Mr Haveron told the court that he spent the weekend at his father's house, as was usual since his parents had separated. He said he seemed to be in a “good mood” when he spoke to him on the Saturday.

Mr Haveron said on Saturday night he went to bed between 11pm and midnight, leaving his father watching TV. In the morning his father woke him to see if he was going to church.

Asked how his mood was when his father came back from church, Matthew told the lawyer that “he seemed quite off, just in an odd mood”.

“He seemed very distant, like he was in thought, and on the way to my grandparents I asked him was he OK. He said ‘I'm OK, just my mouth's quite sore’,” he recounted.

Mr Haveron told the jury how he spent the next two hours locked in a bathroom “trying to call my mum” and praying.

“I think there were 30 or 40 missed calls,” Matthew said.

He said he was aware of a “commotion” downstairs when his father collapsed and an ambulance was called.

The trial continues.

Background

Retired 58-year-old RUC sergeant Joseph Haveron (right), from Farm Lodge Gate in Greenisland, denies murdering his 53-year-old wife Pauline on April 18, 2010. Her young lover Andrew Jones, who was a friend of son Jonathan Haveron, found her floating face down in the bath at her Huntingdale Green home in Ballyclare. She had been strangled.

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