Belfast Telegraph

Charlotte Murray murder accused chef 'kept body for weeks'

Charlotte Murray
Charlotte Murray
Charlotte Murray and Johnny Miller, who’s alleged to have murdered her

By Michael Donnelly

A chef has rejected allegations that he kept the body of his former fiancee for three weeks or more after murdering her.

Johnny Miller, from Redford Park in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, spoke while being questioned by defence QC Orlando Pownall at the town's Crown Court.

The 48-year-old denies murdering Charlotte Murray (34), who disappeared from their home on Roxborough Heights in Moy, also Co Tyrone, seven years ago around Halloween.

Mr Pownall put to his client the prosecution's claim that, having killed Charlotte, he "some three weeks later or so" went on the internet looking to buy an axe, a saw and cleaning materials to dispose of the body and clear up afterwards.

"Had you kept Charlotte body somewhere for three weeks... and it was then you decided you better get an axe, a saw?" Mr Pownall asked the defendant.

Miller replied "no way" and told the court that the items were already available in the garage of the house.

Earlier, prosecution QC Richard Weir, closing his cross-examination, suggested to Miller that having seen explicit pictures of Ms Murray and a man on her phone and texts to another man, it was "the last straw... and that's what caused you to kill Charlotte Murray". "I didn't kill Charlotte Murray," replied Miller.

Mr Weir then suggested that the defendant went online to get an axe and a saw to dispose of the body and for something to clean up afterwards.

"No I didn't. Absolutely not," he replied.

"I never hurt her. Never lifted my hand to her, never hit her. I know that and I'm telling the truth."

Miller again rejected the suggestion he disposed of Ms Murray's body and claimed that he had wanted the cleaning materials to clear up after his dog and to remove stains left behind from a spilled bottle of wine.

Miller had already told the court that his search of the B&Q website for double-headed axes and a saw was carried out on behalf of his father.

The defendant's father, Patrick Miller, said in his evidence that he and many in the family had been employed in the forestry industry and confirmed he had a collection of tools.

Patrick Miller also agreed that his son had been trying to get him a blade to complete a bow saw, and while he had been unable to find the part, his granddaughter eventually had.

He further claimed that his son was also aware he wanted "an American double axe".

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph

From Belfast Telegraph