Northern Ireland

Man pleads not guilty to murder of Liam Christie

Liam Christie was shot dead in Antrim
Liam Christie was shot dead in Antrim

A CO Antrim man appeared in court on Friday charged with the murder of Liam Christie who was shot dead in his home.

Jonathan David Patterson (44), of Killowen Grange, Lisburn, appeared at Belfast Crown Court to be formally arraigned on the two charges he faces.

He pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Christie in his Co Antrim home on October 20, 2022.

Patterson also denied possessing a handgun and a quantity of 9mm ammunition with intent on the same date.

Co-accused Henry Charles Hayles (59), of Kansas Avenue in north Belfast, was not arraigned on the same two charges due to a legal issue.

Another co-accused, Paul Arthur Armstrong (45), of Islandreagh Drive, Dunadry, Co Antrim, was not arraigned on medical grounds.

Defence barrister Joe Brolly told the court that Armstrong, who appeared in court using a walking aid, had “suffered a severe stroke in prison’' in March last year and was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment.

Mr Brolly said Armstrong’s health had “deteriorated since his stroke’' and he is to be examined next month by a medical practitioner to consider the issue of his fitness to plead on the charges he faces of murder and possessing a firearm and ammunition with intent.

He told Mr Justice O’Hara that the defence were also awaiting a number of medical reports on Armstrong.

Mr Justice O’Hara said he would review the case after the Easter recess.

No date for trial was fixed.

Father-of-three Mr Christie (43) was shot eight times at close range as he lay asleep in bed in his home in the Craighill area.