Date fixed for pensioner murder trial

Published Friday, 07 March 2014
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A date has been fixed for the trial of a former husband and wife accused of the murder of a Coleraine pensioner.

Date fixed for pensioner murder trial
Paul Toland appears in court charged with the manslaughter of Bertie Acheson. (© Pacemaker)

Jennifer Toland, who is 24 and from Co Antrim, and 40-year-old Paul James Manolito Toland, whose former address is The Cedars in Antrim, appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court on Friday morning for an arraignment hearing.

The estranged coupled both pleaded not guilty to the murder of 72-year-old Bertie Acheson on 30 April 2012.

They also pleaded not guilty to a second charge of robbing his wife Sheila Acheson of her purse containing £338 in cash on the same date.

Bertie Acheson died from a heart attack after a break-in at his house in Coleraine, Co Londonderry.

Mr Justice Weir fixed the trial date for Monday, 2 June.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks. However, the High Court judge said that as yet no court venue had been finalised for the jury trial.

A number of expert witnesses will be called by the defence, including a DNA expert from America and also experts in vehicle recognition.

Progress in the case will be reviewed again on 2 May.

The accused were released on continuing bail and Mr Justice Weir excused the defendants from attending the review hearing.

© UTV News
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