Antrim man appears in court on charge of murdering Pauline Carmichael

Alan Foster, who appeared in court charged with the murder of Pauline Carmichael
Alan Foster, who appeared in court charged with the murder of Pauline Carmichael

An Antrim man has been remanded into custody charged with murdering a woman.

Standing in the dock of Coleraine Magistrates Court on Friday, just a few feet from his alleged victim’s family, 37-year-old Alan Norman Foster spoke only to confirm his identity and that he understood the single charge against him.

Foster, from Hillside in Antrim, is accused of the murder of 61-year-old Pauline Carmichael on 23 February this year.

Although no facts of the case were opened, Detective Constable Mulligan told the court she believed she could connect Foster to the murder.

Defence solicitor Daniel McCorry confirmed to District Judge Liam McNally that he was not applying for bail and that being the case, Foster was remanded into custody to appear at Antrim Magistrates Court on March 24.

At the end of the two minute hearing, Judge McNally granted legal aid and told Foster: “Well, you have been connected to the charge of murdering Pauline Carmichael.

“No application has been made this morning for appeal so accordingly I’m reminding you into custody to appear at court on 24 March.”

Ms Carmichael, a mother and grandmother who was originally from Ballyclare but who had been living in Antrim, went missing from the flat she shared with her alleged killer last Monday at around 10pm, sparking a widespread police search.

Police officers using sniffer dogs had been scouring the area around the Six Mile River and her body was recovered aroind a mile from her home at Antrim’s Lough Shore Park on Wednesday afternoon by police investigating the 61-year-old’s disappearance.

She had been wearing pink fleecy pyjama bottoms and a white fleece pyjama top when she disappeared.

Foster and another 59-year-old man had been arrested and questioned about the disappearance which turned into a murder investigation but the older man, understood to be Foster’s father and who had been in a relationship with Ms Carmichael, was released unconditionally by police.

Speaking at the time Ms Carmichael’s daughter, Realana Mitchell, described her mum as caring and thoughtful but vulnerable.

On Friday, however, Ms Carmichael’s family did not wish to comment.