Belfast Telegraph

Man to stand trial accused of murdering neighbour and stealing more than £6k from him

By Alan Erwin

A man is to stand trial accused of murdering his neighbour and stealing more than £6,000 from him, a judge ordered on Wednesday.

James Devine allegedly killed 62-year-old James Hughes at their west Belfast tower block accommodation in November last year.

Mr Hughes' body was discovered on the 14th floor of the Divis Tower where he lived.

Devine, with an address in the same apartment complex, faces charges of murder and the theft of £6,080 belonging to the victim.

He was produced from secure medical accommodation for a preliminary enquiry hearing at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

Staff accompanied him into the dock as the allegations were put to him.

Devine spoke only to confirm that he understood the two charges.

He declined to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage in proceedings.

His barrister, Luke Curran, did not contest prosecution submissions that a prima facie case has been established.

No further details about the circumstances surrounding Mt Hughes' death were disclosed during the hearing.

Deputy District Judge Joe Rice granted the prosecution's application for Devine to be returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date to be fixed.

The accused is now expected to remain at Knockbracken Healthcare Park until his arraignment.

Mr Curran confirmed: "There is no application for bail - the Prison Service have made an assessment that he should be in Knockbracken."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph