Belfast Telegraph

Belfast doctor Declan O'Neill breaks down in tears as he denies murdering mum Anne

Declan O'Neill (left) with his mother Anne
Declan O'Neill (left) with his mother Anne

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Belfast doctor broke down in tears in court as he denied murdering his mother.

Declan Kevin O'Neill (28) appeared at Belfast Crown Court where he spoke twice - first to confirm his name, then a second time to deny murdering his 51-year old mother.

Anne O'Neill, a retired nurse, was found in the garden of her elderly parents home at Ardmore Avenue in Finaghy around 7am on Saturday October 21st, 2017. The mother-of-two was found on the grass with head injuries, and despite medical intervention, she died at the scene.

Her 28-year old son Declan, from Malone Avenue, was charged with murdering Mrs O'Neill and has been on remand since his arrest in October 2017.

When the clerk of the court put the murder charge to a shaking O'Neill on Wednesday, he tearfully replied "not guilty".

Defence barrister Greg Berry QC revealed the defence are seeking an expert report from a doctor in England.

Mr Justice Colton set the hearing for the two-week trial as May 20, and said he would review the case at the start of April.

Following the brief hearing, the judge remanded O'Neill back into custody and he was led from the dock in handcuffs by prison staff.

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