Northern Ireland

Man acquitted of murder of Stanley Close in Belfast

A man accused of killing a pensioner more than 25 years ago has been acquitted of the murder after the Crown offered no evidence against him.

David Mayberry Wallace, 53, was charged in 2010 with murdering Stanley Close at a flat in east Belfast in August 1986.

A lawyer told Belfast Crown Court on Monday that the PPS took the decision after "conducting a careful review of the evidence".

The jury was ordered to record a verdict of "not guilty by direction".

Mr Wallace, originally from Northern Ireland but now with an address at Shaw Street, Bury, Greater Manchester, was arrested in a joint operation between the PSNI and Greater Manchester Police and brought to Northern Ireland in May 2010.

He had been accused of murdering 65-year-old Mr Close in a flat at Canton Court in the east of the city.

Mr Close, who had been strangled to death, was a convicted killer himself having served 10 years behind bars for the manslaughter of Kevin Kielty who was gunned down at a bar on the Ormeau Road in south Belfast in July 1971.