A husband and wife accused of murder will now not face trial after the prosecution dropped the case.
Last Friday at Belfast Crown Court, prosecution QC Terence Mooney said that having reviewed the papers and taken further instructions from the PPS Director, he was consenting to no bill applications lodged on behalf of 41-year-old Charles Valliday and his wife Julie-Ann (36).
The couple, originally from Powerscourt Place in Belfast but now with an address in Antrim, were jointly charged with murdering Christopher Mackin (31) on 1 March last year.
They had also been charged with possessing a 38 Smith & Wesson revolver and 51 bullets under suspicious circumstances and further allegations of having class A heroin with intent to supply.
A relative, 47-year-old James John Valliday, from Springfield Meadow in Belfast, also had the case against him dismissed.
He had been charged with assisting offenders by buying petrol with a view to setting fire to a Renault Clio car which was allegedly used in the murder.
Christopher Mackin was killed when he was shot up to seven times at College Square North and previous courts had heard allegations from an investigating officer that the husband and wife had “worked together” to lure Mr Mackin to his death.
It is understood the case against the trio centred around circumstantial evidence involving CCTV footage, telecommunications evidence and swabs of cartridge discharge residue.
Last Friday however, Mr Mooney said he was consenting to the “no bill” applications which were lodged by defence lawyers but added that police are still investigating the crime in the hope of uncovering further evidence.
Accordingly, Mr Justice Weir dismissed the case against all three.