Belfast Telegraph

Co Down man Leslie Ross to stand trial accused of murdering two former girlfriends

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

A former stonemason from Northern Ireland is to stand trial accused of murdering two former girlfriends.

Leslie Ross, from Meganlis Park, Dromore in Co Down, was remanded in custody after appearing at Newry Magistrates Court.

He is expected to be arraigned next month over the alleged killings of Michelle Bickerstaff in April 2012 and Margaret Weise in August 2007.

Judge Peter King told the 67-year-old defendant there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a case concerning the alleged murder of a third former partner, Elizabeth McKee, who died in 2002.

Judge King said: "I have no hesitation in concluding that the Crown has established a prima facie case in relation to Michelle Bickerstaff and Margaret Weise.

"I am not so satisfied in relation to the death of Elizabeth McKee."

Mother-of-four Michelle Bickerstaff (47) was found dead in April 2012 while the body of 50-year-old Margaret Weise was discovered in August 2007.

Both women were from Ross's home town of Dromore and had been in a relationship with him at the time of their deaths.

The court heard how 52-year-old Ms McKee, a mother-of-one who had struggled with alcohol addiction, was found to have a blood alcohol reading of 500 milligrams per 100 millilitres when she died.

Relatives of the three women declined to comment.

Ross is due to appear at Laganside Crown Court in Belfast on April 24.

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