Husband and wife accused of murder

Court
Court

A husband and wife are to stand trial for the killing of a man shot dead in Belfast, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Defence lawyers had contested murder charges resurrected against Charles and Julie-Ann Valliday over the fatal gun attack on Christopher Mackin more than three years ago.

But despite their attempts to have the prosecution halted, a district judge at Belfast Magistrate’s Court held on Wednesday that there is a prima facie case to answer.

Fiona Bagnall ruled: “I am satisfied that there’s sufficient evidence for the committal to proceed in respect of each of the charges against each of the defendants.”

Mr Mackin was shot up to seven times at College Square North in the city back in March 2012.

Charles Valliday, 43, and his 38-year-old wife Julie-Ann, originally from Powerscourt Place, Belfast but now with an address in Antrim, are jointly charged with his murder.

They are also accused of possessing a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances, and drugs offences.

Charles Valliday’s brother James, 49, of Springfield Meadows in Belfast, faces a charge of assisting offenders in connection with events after the attack.

Their lawyers argued that no new evidence has emerged since the case was dropped back in September 2013.

At that stage the PPS said it intended to recommence proceedings.

The judge granted a prosecution application to have the three returned for trial at the Crown Court.

The defendants were all released on continuing bail until those proceedings get underway on a date to be fixed.