Belfast Telegraph

Ex-policeman accused of strangling his estranged wife

By Michael Donnelly

An ex-policeman who allegedly became a stalker is on trial for murdering his estranged wife, who was having an affair with a lover half her age.

Mother-of-four Pauline Haveron was found dead, face down in the bath in her Ballyclare home, just five days after agreeing a divorce settlement with her “obsessed” husband, 58-year-old Joseph Alfred Haveron.

She had been strangled.

A prosecutor told Belfast Crown Court that it was no secret that the part-time nurse (53) had been having an affair with a friend of her son.

Haveron denies murdering his ex-wife in her Huntingdale Green home in Ballyclare on April 18, 2010.

The retired police sergeant, who left the RUC almost a decade before, had allegedly threatened he was “going to blast” the lovers “out of their bed”.

The court heard that while Haveron was married he was extremely controlling. It was alleged there were episodes of violence in which he threatened Mrs Haveron, as well as putting a gun to her head.

Prosecution QC Liam McCollum claimed there was evidence Haveron, from Farm Lodge Grove in Greenisland, was “obsessed” by his wife and her movements. He claimed Haveron had motives for killing her. “Jealousy creates very strong emotions ... anger and rage can lead to violence... financial gain can be a strong incentive,” the lawyer said.

Mr McCollum warned the jury it was no secret Mrs Haveron was having an affair with her son’s friend but was not to be judged for that, adding: “This trial concerns the murder of Mrs Haveron, and nothing else.”

The court heard that after the murder, Haveron had told a fellow church-goer he had “done things he couldn't be given forgiven for”.

Mr McCollum also revealed that two days later when a police friend found Haveron had taken an overdose, the practising Christian asked him to “shoot me and get it over with”.

The jury of seven men and five women also heard that just five days before the murder, the Haverons had agreed a divorce settlement.

Mr McCollum said there was no forced entry into the house, no robbery, no sexual assault, nor had anything been taken. He said CCTV footage from locations along the nine miles between their homes captured Haveron's blue Vauxhall being driven along the route on the morning of the murder.

When the owners of every similar car were contacted, they could account for their movements. Haveron said he was in bed, said the QC.

Mr McCollum said that while there was no forensic evidence connecting Haveron with the murder, strands of evidence pointed to his guilt.

He claimed: “The prosecution say that the evidence in this case, when properly analysed, points in one direction and one direction only, firmly at the guilt of Joseph Haveron.”

The trial continues today.

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