Pauline Haveron murder trial halted

Published Monday, 17 December 2012
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The trial of a retired RUC sergeant accused of murdering his wife was dramatically halted on Monday after the prosecution decided not to rely on expert evidence.

Pauline Haveron murder trial halted
Pauline Haveron was found dead in her Ballyclare home in 2010. (© Pacemaker)

Prosecuting QC Liam McCollum told Belfast Crown Court trial judge Mr Justice Treacy they had decided not to rely on the part-heard evidence of Mr Glen Stewart who gave evidence last week.

Forensic imagery analyst Mr Stewart told the court that in his opinion, a car matching that owned by 58-year-old Joseph Haveron was captured on CCTV at a Doagh filling station, about two miles from the scene where his ex-wife was found murdered in the early hours of 18 April, 2010.

Retired RUC officer Haveron, from Farm Lodge Grove in Greenisland, is on trial accused of murdering his 53-year-old wife Pauline on 18 April, 2010.

Her lover Andrew Jones, who was a friend of their son Jonathan Haveron's, found her floating face down in the bath at her Huntingdale Green home in Ballyclare - but she had in fact been strangled.

At the time of the killing, the retired police sergeant and his part-time nurse wife had come through an acrimonious divorce having separated in 2003.

The jury have heard their eldest child Mr Haveron recount how he witnessed numerous bouts of domestic abuse over the years.

They have also heard allegations that during one argument when Jonathan was only a few months old, Haveron pointed his gun at his wife's head and that he "pistol-whipped" her.

Last Thursday, Mr Stewart took the witness box to say that in his opinion and after performing various comparative tests, he believed the car on CCTV footage at 05.02am at the Texaco Filling Station in Doagh was a Vauxhall Signum, the same type of car owned by Haveron.

His evidence was broken up, however, when Mr Justice Treacy took him to task about the quality of the photographs he was basing his conclusions on, describing it as nothing more than a "blob".

On Monday, Mr McCollum said following a break last Thursday and with further consultations with Mr Stewart, a decision had been taken not to rely on his evidence with the consequence that potentially, any verdict reached by the jury of seven men and five women may be "tainted".

Although defence QC Gavan Duffy argued for the jury to be retained, Mr Justice Treacy discharged them from the trial, thanking them for the "obvious attention" that had paid to the evidence.

Haveron was released on continuing bail and the case will be mentioned in the coming days to fix a date for a new trial.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Adrian Miller in Ballyclare wrote (771 days ago):
"The trial of a retired RUC sergeant..." Relevance? Just because he's a retired peeler, you point this out? Is the crime somehow worse? I've never seen "The trial of a retired plumber" or "the trial of a retired lion-tamer" appear.
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