Belfast Telegraph

Huge turnout expected at funeral for murder victim William McCormick

Burial: William ‘Pat’ McCormick
Burial: William ‘Pat’ McCormick
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

The funeral of Co Down murder victim and ex-UDR man William 'Pat' McCormick will take place tomorrow afternoon.

Last week, a court was told the 55-year-old was lured to his death in a Co Down flat.

He was last seen alive on May 30 in Comber, and for over a month police searched for the father-of-four.

A few days after Mr McCormick's disappearance, police said they were treating it as a murder case.

His body was discovered in a lake in Ballygowan on July 9 after an anonymous tip-off.

David Gill (26), from Ballyglighorn Road, Comber, denied a charge of murder and did not apply for bail at a court hearing last Friday.

His fiancee Lesley-Ann Dodds (21), of Mountcollyer Avenue, Belfast, was charged with aiding and abetting as well as perverting the course of justice.

The court heard that the police accept she was not "physically" involved in the murder or disposal of the body. She has denied any involvement in the murder, but was refused bail last Friday.

One of the victim's children, Myles McCormick, posted details of the funeral on their Facebook page. The service will take place at 1pm in Strean Presbyterian Church, Newtownards. Mr McCormick was a member of the congregation for 20 years and worked as a caretaker there for the past eight years.

"It is expected to be a massive turnout and parking is very limited around the church and surrounding areas so we're being advised to tell people to show up early to get a seat," said Myles.

"The burial will be at Movilla cemetery which anyone who would like to attend can. Refreshments, etc will be taking place afterwards which everyone is welcome to attend," he added.

A PSNI detective inspector told a judge last week that Mr McCormick had feared he was being set up before entering a property where they believe he was killed. The court also heard how a series of phone calls and text messages were exchanged between the victim and both of the accused.

Police added they believe that a phone call from Dodds prompted Mr McCormick to make his way to meet her in a flat in the Castle Street area of Comber.

CCTV footage shows Gill entering the flats before leaving two-and-a-half hours later but Mr McCormick was never seen alive again.

Both of the accused are due to appear in court again by video link in August.

The court heard that the two accused, who both told the judge they understood the charges against them, have been subject to a threat since Mr McCormick's disappearance.

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