Mum accused of murdering three year-old


A Lisburn mother has been ordered to stand trial accused of her three-year-old son’s murder.

Appearing last Friday in the dock of the city’s magistrates’ court wearing glasses and her long dark hair drawn back into a pony tail, 28-year-old Michelle Owens remained standing, flankedby a prison guard and a psychiatric nurse as she confirmed she was aware of the single charge against her.

Owens, from Trinity Terrace, Lisburn, is accused of murdering her son Brendan Owens on 3 July 2013.

The little boy died at his home on Trinity Terrace in the Tonagh area of Lisburn and it has been previously reported that when police were called to the house at 2.20am, the infant was already dead.

It is understood the autopsy report findings were inconclusive.

Ms Owens was not charged with her son’s murder for two months, first appearing in court on 20 September in 2013.

Owens’ defence lawyer has told previous courts they intended to instruct an expert to review the child’s autopsy.

But there was no mention of this in the local court last Friday and the preliminary enquiry proceeded as was scheduled.

A prosecuting lawyer submitted that “on the basis of the papers before the court” there is a case for Owens to answer, asking for the case to be referred to Craigavon Crown Court for trial, an application not objected to by the defence.

Owens was told by the court clerk that although not obliged to, she had the right to say anything about the charge but that “anything you do say will be written down and maybe given in evidence.”

Standing with one hand in her pocket, Owens said simply “no”.

Extending legal aid to allow a senior counsel to be instructed in the case, District Judge Rosemary Watters ordered Owens to appear before the Crown Court for arraignment on February 26.