Northern Ireland news

Jennifer Dornan murder trial to get underway

trial: Mum-of-three Jennifer Dornan, above, was murdered in August 2015. Ms Dornan was found stabbed inside her burning home, right

A man is to stand trial for the murder of a mother-of-three in west Belfast, a judge has ordered.

Raymond O'Neill (40) appeared before the city's Magistrates Court accused of killing Jennifer Dornan and setting fire to her home in August 2015.

He is also separately charged with the rape of another woman in December 2003.

O'Neill, with a previous address at Amcomri Street in Belfast, was extradited from the Republic last year.

He had been detained under a European Arrest Warrant back in 2016, and mounted a series of legal challenges against being transferred to Northern Ireland.

Entering the dock in a wheelchair due to medical issues, O'Neill confirmed that he understood all of the allegations against him.

He is charged with murder and arson in connection with 30-year-old Ms Dornan's death.

She was found stabbed inside her burning home at Hazel View in the Lagmore area of the city.

Raymond O'Neill, remanded in custody charged with the murder of mother of three Jennifer Dornan.

A prosecution lawyer argued that O'Neill has a case to answer on both the alleged killing and rape cases.

Defence counsel Mark Farrell, instructed by McIvor Farrell Solicitors, made no contrary submissions.

On that basis District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted applications to have the accused returned for Crown Court trial.

She remanded him back into custody until those proceedings get underway on dates to be fixed.

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