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Charlotte Murray murder accused denied holiday with witnesses


John Miller

John Miller

Photopress Belfast

Missing: Charlotte Murray

Missing: Charlotte Murray

John Miller

A man from Co Tyrone accused of killing his missing ex-partner has had a bid to go on holiday thrown out of court.

John Patrick Miller (46) of Redford Park, Dungannon, is charged with murdering Charlotte Murray, some time between October 31 and November 1, 2012.

Yesterday at Dungannon Magistrates Court, Miller applied to travel abroad with a couple who are witnesses in the investigation. The request was denied.

Originally from Omagh, but living in Moy for some time, Ms Murray was reported missing by her family in 2013. She was 34.

Police believe she was murdered after Miller was sent explicit images of her with another man. Within hours he was attempting to sell her engagement ring, a previous court has heard.

Ms Murray's body has never been found.

Miller was originally refused bail back on November 1, 2017 - five years to the day since Charlotte's suspected murder. He successfully appealed to the High Court, where he was released on very strict terms.

Yesterday, a defence barrister applied at court for Miller to be permitted to travel on holiday to Turkey from August 13 to 28 with two other couples. It was claimed he paid a deposit of £100 to one of those arranging the holiday last September, a few weeks before his arrest and charge.

The detective sergeant in the case however told the court: "Police are opposed to this application. There are concerns over some of those travelling and their role in the case."

He said that the names of the other travellers were only made known to him immediately before the hearing, despite requesting this information from Miller's solicitors the previous week.

The detective continued: "The prosecution is proceeding.

"Another person has been arrested on suspicion of withholding information and perverting the court of justice.

"This is a friend of the defendant's who remains on police bail. There may be developments on that imminently. In addition, two of those with whom he seeks to travel are also close friends, who were interviewed last October as witnesses in the investigation."

District Judge John Meehan criticised the "casual nature" of the application to vary bail and the delay by solicitors in providing the names of those travelling to police.

He said: "This is a very serious case. It is a murder investigation.

"This holiday just happened to coincide with the prospective arraignment date for return to trial. The risk, to my view, is very live.

"I also find it most peculiar the defendant would seek to travel with others who are witnesses in the case."

Throwing out the application, Judge Meehan listed the case for mention next month, with a potential committal to Crown court for trial in August.

Belfast Telegraph