Northern Ireland

Man who murdered missing Co Tyrone woman has appeal dismissed

An excavator at a quarry in Co Tyrone during a search for Charlotte Murray (PA)
An excavator at a quarry in Co Tyrone during a search for Charlotte Murray (PA)

An appeal by a man convicted of murdering his missing former fiancee has been dismissed.

John Miller, 53, a chef from Redford Park in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, was found guilty by a jury at Dungannon Crown Court in 2019 of the murder of Charlotte Murray.

He was given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 16 years to serve.

Ms Murray, 34, was last seen in 2012. Her remains have not been found despite an extensive police investigation and searches.

Miller was found to have killed Ms Murray at their home in Moy between October 30 2012 and November 2 2012.

Miller appealed against his sentence and his barrister contended the trial wrongly continued in 2019 without proof Ms Murray is dead.

They also contended material irregularities in the conduct of the trial.

In a judgment issued in the Court of Appeal on Monday, Lady Chief Justice Dame Siobhan Keegan dismissed the appeal.

She said no strength was found in any of the arguments raised on appeal and alleged material irregularities “were not irregularities at all”.

“And where irregularities did arise, they were corrected during the trial process or were not of such a material nature as to cause us to question the safety of the conviction in any respect,” she said.

“Finally, we point out that the judge charged the jury at the end of this long trial after extensive engagement with counsel. He did so with scrupulous fairness having engaged with counsel throughout. His charge was of high quality.

“The judge fairly dealt with all the complicated evidence in this case in a manner which left the fact-finding function to the jury, which is as it should be. Accordingly, we refuse leave on all grounds and dismiss this appeal.”