Belfast Telegraph

Co Antrim man to face trial over ex-teacher Robert Flowerday's murder

Michael Gerard Owens
Michael Gerard Owens

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Co Antrim man is to stand trial next year for the murder of a retired schoolteacher, a court heard yesterday.

Michael Gerard Owens appeared at Antrim Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, where he denied murdering 64-year-old Robert Flowerday.

The body of the retired Antrim Grammar schoolteacher was found in his home on Mill Road in Crumlin last January.

Owens (34), from Lisburn Road in Glenavy, was charged with murdering Mr Flowerday on a date between January 27 and 30, 2018, and of breaking into the deceased's home with intent to steal.

When the charges were put to the accused by a court clerk today, he replied "not guilty" to both offences.

Crown prosecutor David McDowell QC confirmed that a date for trial has been set as January 13, 2020.

John McCrudden QC, the barrister representing Owens, said the defence was seeking forensic reports, and that a defence statement could be served at the end of September.

Mr Justice Colton agreed to list the case for mention in September, then said: "The defendant can be returned to custody."

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