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Murder accused Johnny Miller says ex-fiancee Charlotte Murray is 'still alive'

Murder accused Johnny Miller
Murder accused Johnny Miller

By Michael Donnelly

The Co Tyrone chef accused of murdering his former fiancee Charlotte Murray denied he had "vanished" her seven years ago, telling the court he believes she is still alive.

Johnny Miller also told his Dungannon Crown Court trial that he knows of no reason why she should disappear, leaving him "swinging in the wind" before a jury charged with her murder.

Miller, now with an address in Redford Park, in Dungannon said that he "wished Charlotte would walk through" the door of the court, "big time".

The chef, who denies murdering the then 34-year-old between October 30 and November 2, 2012, also repeatedly rejected a number of propositions from QC Richard Weir that he was responsible for her death, that he had killed her in a murderous rage or in a silly fit of lost temper.

"Had you killed her by then.... Did you kill her?" Mr Weir continually put it to him.

"I didn't kill her", he said.

Mr Weir initially put it to Mr Miller to suppose that Charlotte had indeed disappeared "and gone off on her own volition", and with the "shadow of suspicion falls on you .... if she had looked at the internet she would have seen over the last number of years, the terrible trouble you have been in".

"I would hope so," said the 48-year-old chef.

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Johnny Miller is accused of the murder of his former fiancee Charlotte Murray (pictured)

Mr Weir then asked since they had "parted in good terms... what reason would Charlotte have to not come forward, say hey hold on here, look here I am, look I am not dead, and that more importantly from your point of view, that you didn't kill her".

"I didn't kill her," said Mr Miller, before adding: "I would love her to walk through that door".

But Mr Weir again put it to him: "Why would she let you swing in the wind, the way you have been swinging in front of a jury, charged with her murder, that's not the sort of thing Charlotte would have done."

"I don't know," he replied.

While Mr Miller agreed that while Charlotte may have been "volatile and difficult at times, she was not malevolent" towards him.

"I am suggesting to you its completely beyond understanding that if she was alive she would not be coming forward," Mr Weir put it again.

"I wish she would... I just want to see her back ... big time," said Mr Miller.

Later when asked what "suddenly" took him on the internet looking sites to sell her engagement ring, Mr Miller claimed it was because she had emailed him, with what the prosecution claimed were "the mucky photographs" of her having sex with one of his friends.

However, Mr Weir claimed this could not be the reason as he had not received the explicit images for a further 13 minutes on that morning of November 1, 2012.

While he initially agreed that if he had had Charlotte's mobile, he could have sent the material himself, and also text messages supposedly from her, he denied he had, as he did not have her 'pin' enabling him to use the phone.

Mr Miller then said "I still think Charlotte is still alive".

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Charlotte Murray, reported missing in 2013

However, Mr Weir again posing the question why Ms Murray had not come forward in the last seven years, before adding: "Charlotte wouldn't do that to you because no matter what had past between you ... that was not her form ....  and the reason for that is because you killed her".

"No I didn't kill her," maintained Mr Miller.

Later still Mr Weir suggested that the reason why he had not attempted to text her the morning of her alleged disappearance, was "because you knew you killed her and there was no point".

"I didn't kill her, I definitely know that ... no chance", he replied, also rejecting the scenario that he had lost his temper, and like many others had "done silly things", while not meaning to either hurt or cause her serious harm "it got out of hand".

In conclusion the prosecution lawyer told the chef the reason why he allegedly did not try to contact Charlotte was "because you knew she had vanished, because you have vanished her".

"No way," said Mr Miller who faces a third day of cross-examination on Tuesday.

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