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Car same as accused's seen near murder scene, jury told

A car of the exact same make and model of a man accused of murdering his ex-wife was allegedly spotted close to her home the morning she was killed, a jury heard.

The Belfast Crown Court jury of seven men and five women already know that retired RUC sergeant Joseph Haveron drove a blue Vauxhall Signum, and yesterday they heard expert evidence that such a car was spotted passing a filling station in Doagh, two miles away from his wife's house, in the early hours of April 18, 2010.

Giving evidence to the court, photographic imagery analyst Glen Stewart said that CCTV footage taken at 05.02 at the Texaco Garage in Doagh showed a Vauxhall Signum passing by, going in the direction of Ballyclare. He told prosecuting QC Liam McCollum that although he had an original shortlist of three potential cars — an Audi A3, a Vauxhall Astra sports hatch and a Vauxhall Signum — he had performed comparative tests.

Those tests, and a process of elimination, he told the jury, led him to the conclusion that the car in the footage was a Vauxhall Signum.

Haveron, from Farm Lodge Grove in Greenisland, is on trial accused of murdering his 53-year-old wife Pauline on April 18, 2010.

Her lover Andrew Jones, who was a friend of their son Jonathan Haveron's, found her floating face down in the bath at her Huntingdale Green home in Ballyclare.

She had been strangled.

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At the time of the killing the retired police sergeant and his part-time nurse wife had come through an acrimonious divorce having separated in 2003.

And the jury previously heard Jonathan Haveron recount how he witnessed numerous bouts of domestic abuse over the years.

They have also heard allegations that during one argument, when Jonathan was a babe-in-arms, Haveron pointed his gun at his wife's head and that he “pistol-whipped” her.

The trial continues.

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