Tuesday 26 September 2017

Mum in court charged with murdering son (3)

Claire Williamson

A MOTHER has appeared in court charged with the murder of her three-year-old son.

Michelle Owens was arrested in connection with the death of Brendan Owens, who was found dead in her home at Trinity Terrace in the Tonagh area of Lisburn, Co Antrim, in the early hours of July 4.

It is understood that the young mother had only lived in the newly refurbished terraced property near the centre of the city for a couple of months.

At the time of the death, detectives made door-to-door inquiries. A post-mortem into the toddler's death was inconclusive.

A murder investigation was launched on Thursday and the 27-year-old was arrested along with a 51-year-old man.

He was later released on bail pending further inquiries and it is not yet known what new evidence prompted the investigation.

Ms Owens was charged late on Thursday evening and appeared yesterday morning in Lisburn Magistrates' Court wearing a baggy, navy jumper and trousers.

Family members of the woman were in attendance and they fell silent as they watched the police vehicle arrive with Ms Owens inside.

The slim, dark-haired defendant sat between two police officers in the court and did not speak during her brief court appearance.

She stood surrounded by police officers as she was accused by prosecutors of committing the murder on July 3.

A PSNI detective constable was called to the stand where he told the court he believed he could connect Ms Owens to the charge.

There was no application for bail and no questions were asked by the defence lawyers and she was remanded in custody.

The judge ordered that Ms Owens should reappear in court on October 7 via video-link.

GRAVE

The funeral of three-year-old Brendan Owens took place on July 9 in St Patrick's Church in Lisburn, and the toddler was buried minutes from his home in a grave along with his great grandparents.

Speaking earlier in the week, Lisburn SDLP councillor Pat Catney said the community was devastated.

"It's a real tragedy; terribly sad," he added.

Irish Independent

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