Belfast Telegraph

Man to face trial over murder of ex-teacher

Murder: Robert Flowerday
Murder: Robert Flowerday

By Paul Higgins

A man accused of the killing of a retired teacher was yesterday ordered to stand trial for murder.

By way of a preliminary investigation, lawyers for 34-year-old Michael Owens had contested that he had a case to answer but having heard evidence from a number of witnesses at Antrim Magistrates Court, District Judge Nigel Broderick ruled there was a Prima Facile case against the alleged killer.

With Owens appearing in the dock rather than by video link, a brother and supporters of his alleged victim Robert Flowerday sat in silence in the public gallery to hear the judges ruling which commits the alleged killer to the senior Crown Court.

Owens, from the Lisburn Road in Glenavy, is in custody charged with the murder of popular former Antrim Grammar School teacher Robert Flowerday on a date unknown between January 27-30 last year and burglary with intent to steal on the same dates.

He is further accused of burglary of Mr Flowerday's home on December 6, 2017.

The body of the 64-year-old retired maths teacher, was found at his home on the Mill Road in Crumlin on Sunday, January 28.

Owens was afforded the opportunity to comment on the charges or call evidence but he declined. Remanding him back into custody, the judge returned the case to Antrim Crown Court and ordered Owens to appear before the higher court for his arraignment on a date to be fixed.

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