Belfast Telegraph

Bank card of missing Charlotte Murray used after she disappeared, court told

Charlotte Murray, reported missing in 2013
Charlotte Murray, reported missing in 2013
Fiance John Miller, who is accused of Charlotte's murder

By Michael Donnelly

A bank card belonging to a Co Tyrone woman allegedly murdered by her fiance nearly seven years ago was used in Belfast twice in the days after she was said to have disappeared.

The trial of her 48-year-old former lover John Miller also heard that in the weeks and months before going missing, Charlotte Murray was depressed and had suicidal thoughts.

Miller, a chef originally from Coleraine, with an address in Redford Park, Dungannon, denies murdering 34-year-old Ms Murray, originally from Omagh, over Halloween in 2012.

No body was ever found.

The couple, who became engaged after Ms Murray proposed to Miller, had shared a house in Roxborough Heights in Moy before her disappearance.

The fourth day of Miller's Dungannon Crown Court trial heard that two withdrawals of £20 had been debited from Ms Murray's Northern Bank account from cash machines in Belfast city centre, between October 31 and November 2, 2012. One transaction happened at an ATM in Belfast's Cornmarket on October 31, while the other was at a Belfast office on November 1.

It was also revealed that Ms Murray had confided in her GP she was depressed and had thoughts of self-harm most days.

However, the jury of eight men and four women also learned that she had failed to keep five other medical appointments during the month of October.

Ms Murray had told her GP she had felt depressed for several months and had thoughts of deliberate self-harm most days, but that she did not have any active suicidal plans.

He prescribed her anti-depressant medication and made an urgent referral to a psychiatrist. A further report revealed previous incidents of self harm.

She later told a psychiatrist that she felt "overwhelmed" and that she "needed space".

She had described her fiance, Mr Miller, as "a nice guy" but that there was not much of a bond and she wanted to leave, but feared being left isolated.

In a follow-up review that October, the psychiatrist noted that "she feels undeserving of her partner's support of her at present".

It was also noted that Ms Murray continued to drink heavily, but was not prepared to reduce her intake as she wanted to "blank it out".

The report stated: "She does enjoy and value life, and she denies suicidal ideation. She won't let this win, but can't exist like this for much longer."

Defence QC Orlando Pownall, in summing up the reports, put it to the doctor that Ms Murray "was a troubled soul?"

He replied: "She appears to be."

A police officer investigating Ms Murray's disappearance after it was officially reported by her brother and identical twin sister in May 2013 said when he spoke to Mr Miller in the home the couple had shared, he appeared normal and was cooperative.

While he said that Ms Murray had gone to Belfast to start a job in internet sales, he also told the officer she had borrowed £1,200 from her credit union, which subsequent inquiries revealed was never repaid, and was written off by the society as a bad debt.

It was also said that Ms Murray was under investigation for working while also claiming benefit.

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