Belfast Telegraph

I did not kill Charlotte, accused ex-fiance Johnny Miller tells Co Tyrone murder trial

Missing: Charlotte Murray
Missing: Charlotte Murray

By Michael Donnelly

A chef accused of murdering his former fiancee has denied having anything to do with her killing or her involuntarily disappearance nearly seven years ago.

Johnny Miller was giving evidence at Dungannon Crown Court, where he is on trial accused of killing Charlotte Murray.

The 48-year-old was asked directly by his defence QC Orlando Pownall: "Did you cause the death of Charlotte Murray?". To which he replied: "No, I did not."

Miller described himself as being "happy-go-lucky... bubbly with people. Saying that, in drink I'm actually a happier person".

Asked by his lawyer if he had "to put a bet on, where do you think she would go?". He told the court "to Belfast" to hook up with a man with whom she had had a previous relationship.

The chef, originally from Coleraine but now with an address in Redford Park in Dungannon, earlier claimed that it "didn't really bother him" when he learned that she was going to leave him.

"I was actually happy, to be honest with you," he added.

Later Mr Pownall said it would be "suggested" to him that he was "so irate" at seeing an explicit image of Charlotte and another man "that you killed her".

He responded: "Not a chance. No way, no way."

Mr Miller maintained that he was "not bothered" about Charlotte "having a fling with somebody else", as by that time their relationship had broken down.

He said that he "didn't really care", although he did admit he was "a bit peeved off" when he received another explicit picture of her.

He claimed the last time he saw Charlotte in their former home in Roxborough Heights, Moy, was in the early hours of November 1, 2012. She was downstairs on her computer.

Mr Miller told the court that, at around 7am that morning, he went and collected his breakfast from a local petrol station.

Returning to the house at around 10am, he said he ran to the bathroom "to get changed and stuff".

Realising Charlotte was not at home, he "thought she was away to work because she was supposed to be working that day".

Mr Pownall then asked Mr Miller if it was him, or those in the Cohannon Inn, where they both worked, who initially made contact about Charlotte not being at work that morning.

"I honestly can't remember... honestly I thought she had gone to work," he said.

The trial continues.

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