Belfast Telegraph

Charlotte Murray murder accused Johnny Miller told downright lies: QC

Defendant's case full of inaccuracies, trial jury told

Charlotte Murray
Charlotte Murray

By Michael Donnelly

A missing woman not seen in nearly seven years did not want to disappear - she was murdered by her former fiance, a court was told yesterday.

The claim came in final submissions by prosecution QC Richard Weir to a jury of eight men and four women at the Dungannon Crown Court trial of 48-year-old chef Johnny Miller, from Redford Park in the town.

The defendant denies murdering Charlotte Murray on a date between October 31 and November 2, 2012, and maintains his then partner got up and left their then home on Roxborough Heights in Moy without even saying goodbye.

However, Mr Weir told the jury there was "not one shred of evidence in anything that Charlotte had said or done" to show that she had wanted to disappear without a trace.

As he reviewed each strand of the prosecution case, Mr Weir said repeatedly it proved "Charlotte is dead and he (Miller) killed her".

The QC claimed that the defendant's case was "riddled with inconsistencies, inaccuracies and downright lies".

He told the jury that Miller's "hope" that Charlotte would walk through the door of the court would never happen because he had murdered her.

"He knows fine rightly she is never going to walk through that door because he killed her," Mr Weir said.

Quoting a passage from the defendant's diary reading "someone knows something about her disappearance", Mr Weir, pointing to the dock behind him, said: "There he is - he (Miller) knows something. He knows what happened to Charlotte Murray. He knows how she died and where her body is."

Referring to another diary entry reading "you simply can't disappear", the lawyer said: "(You can) when you are killed and your body is disposed of, as has happened to Charlotte Murray in this case".

Johnny Miller
Johnny Miller

The prosecutor said telephone and computer data had exposed Miller's attempts to make it look like his former fiancee was alive and leading a new life.

He added that police had established there was not a shred of evidence to suggest this was the case. Their efforts included tracing 41 women with the same name across the UK to ensure they were not "the Charlotte Murray in this case".

Regarding alleged sightings of the missing woman, Mr Weir asked why, "having created a new identity and gone to all this trouble", she would go to her home village, where she was known and where her cover would be blown "at the very height of searches for her".

The lawyers concluded his submissions by claiming that Miller was guilty of the "single count of murder".

The trial continues.

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