Doctor to stand trial over mother’s murder

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

A doctor is to stand trial charged with the murder of his mother in Belfast, a judge ordered on Tuesday.

Anne O’Neill, 51, died after an alleged assault in the Finaghy area in October 2017.

The retired nurse was found fatally injured in the back garden of a house on Ardmore Avenue.

Her 28-year-old son, Declan Kevin O’Neill, is accused of her killing.

O’Neill, of Malone Avenue in Belfast, appeared before the city’s magistrates court for a preliminary enquiry.

The defendant, who denies the murder charge, previously worked as a doctor at a hospital in the city.

He declined to call witnesses or give evidence during the brief committal proceedings.

O’Neill’s lawyers did not contest prosecution submissions that he has a case to answer.

On that basis District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted an application to have him returned for Crown Court trial on a date to be set.

With no application for bail made, O’Neill was taken back into custody at Maghaberry Prison, the Courts Service confirmed.