THE man accused of the horrific murder of retired teacher Antrim Grammar School teacher Robert Flowerday will have his Preliminary Enquiry next month.
Michael Owens (34) was due to appear at Antrim Magistrate’s Court via videolink from Maghaberry prison last week but was not brought to the video room by prison staff as there was an ‘issue with his health’.
Members of Mr Flowerday’s family were present in the public gallery.
Owens, from the Lisburn Road in Glenavy is in custody charged with the murder of the popular former teacher and maths tutor on January 28.
He is further accused with the burglary of Mr Flowerday's home on December 6 last year.
The body of the 64-year-old was found at his home on the Mill Road in Crumlin after police called to his house because a member of the public had raised concerns.
Previous courts have heard claims the retired teacher sustained injuries ‘of the most horrific nature’ and that there was a preliminary finding of a ‘positive DNA’ result, which allegedly connects Owens to the murder scene.
In a previous unsuccessful bail application, a police officer said: “I have seen what this man is capable of.
“These injuries are of the most horrific nature, inflicted on an elderly man, in his own home, defenceless and there’s been no remorse shown whatsoever and I think that certainly, I have a duty to protect the public and the vulnerable.”
He also alleged that Owens had confessed to a witness to the murder.
In court last week, a prosecuting lawyer said the case was ready for a Preliminary Enquiry, the legal process which would see the case referred upwards to the Crown Court for trial.
The PPS lawyer confirmed to a defence solicitor that the necessary papers would be served on him.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said he would review the case on December 11 ahead of the PE which he set for the following week.