Belfast man William Hutchinson to face trial accused of murdering grandmother
A man from Belfast accused of murdering a grandmother has been ordered to stand trial at Crown Court.
Standing handcuffed in the dock of Newtownards Magistrates' Court, 42-year-old William Stephen Hutchinson confirmed he was aware of the charge against him.
Hutchinson said he had no objection to a preliminary enquiry, the legal process necessary to refer any case to the more senior Crown Court.
Hutchinson, from Kilbroney House, Greenway, is in custody accused of murdering Alice Morrow on March 10 this year.
The body of the east Belfast grandmother was discovered in her flat at Whincroft Way on the Braniel estate.
The mother-of-three and grandmother-of-three was last seen alive on CCTV at 2.52am at Brackenvale Eurospar and filling station on Belfast's Saintfield Road.
Detectives believe she may have been murdered some time between 12 noon and 8pm that day.
In court yesterday, a lawyer for the Public Prosecution Service submitted that there was a prima facie case against Hutchinson, a submission which was conceded by defence counsel Conor Holmes.
Hutchinson was told that although not obliged to, he had the right to comment on the charge or call evidence to the preliminary enquiry, but he declined the opportunity.
Remanding Hutchinson back into custody, District Judge Mark Hamill ordered the accused to appear at the Crown Court in Laganside for his arraignment on January 10.