Woman denies the murder of her child


A 28-year-old woman has denied murdering her son at her home in Lisburn nearly two years ago, a court heard last week.

Accused of murdering her son Brendan (3) on July 3, 2013, Michelle Owens, from Trinity Terrace in the Longstone Street area of Tonagh, was formerly arraigned before Belfast Crown Court on Friday.

Defence barrister Mark Mulholland told judge Justice Weir that medical reports had just been received and would be furnished to the court.

It was stated that it was ‘the common application’ of both defence and prosecution that the case be further reviewed at the end of the month.

After Ms Owens plea of not guilty she returned on bail to a secure psychiatric unit, the Shannon Clinic at Knockbracken Healthcare Park in south Belfast.

No details surrounding Brendan’s death were outlined in court.

At the time it was reported that the toddler’s body was found at this home in the early hours of July 4, 2013 when the police called to the house at around 2.20am.

Initially post-mortem results into the child’s death were inconclusive and it was not until September 2013 that Ms Owens was charged with her son’s murder.

It is understood that Brendan was due to start school at nearby St Aloysius Primary School but had attended a mothers and toddlers group run by Barnardos in a room in St Paul’s church hall off the Longstone Road.

The funeral of the three-year-old took place on July 9 in St Patrick’s Church in Lisburn.