Chef accused of killing Charlotte Murray banned from Co Tyrone

A chef accused of killing his missing ex-partner is to be banned from entering Co Tyrone, a High Court judge ordered on Friday.

The prohibition was imposed on John Patrick Miller as he was granted bail on a charge of murdering Charlotte Murray five years ago.

Ms Murray, who was originally from Omagh but living in Moy, was 34 when reported missing by her family in 2013. Her body has never been found.

But it is alleged that 46-year-old Miller, of Redford Park in Dungannon, murdered her between October 31 and November 1 the previous year.

They had been in a relationship and worked together before she vanished, an earlier court was told.

Traces of Ms Murray’s blood were said to have been found at a house they shared.

Detectives charged Miller with the murder following cell-site analysis of mobile phone texts.

Defence barrister Dessie Hutton argued that his client faced a “very circumstantial case”.

Opposing bail amid concerns Miller may flee, prosecution counsel contended that he had been arranging to travel to France on the day he was arrested.

During cross-examination an investigating detective confirmed, however, that police have no concrete evidence of any such plans.

Mr Hutton told the court Miller was first arrested in 2013, knew he remained a person of interest in the case, but remained in Northern Ireland.

The accused, who previously visited a friend in France, was only checking for any potential future cheap flights, the court heard.

Granting bail, Sir Paul Girvan directed Miller to surrender any passports and put up a £10,000 cash surety.

The judge also excluded him from entering Co Tyrone - even though he worked at a restaurant near Coalisland.

Seeking the no-go zone, the Crown lawyer said: “There are still searches for a body ongoing, and witnesses are based in Tyrone.”