Northern Ireland

Pauline Haveron murder: Trial halted and jury discharged

Pauline Haveron's body was found in a house at Huntingdale Green, Ballyclare
Image caption Pauline Haveron's body was found in a house at Huntingdale Green, Ballyclare

The trial of a former police officer accused of murdering his ex-wife has been halted after the prosecution decided not to rely on expert evidence.

Belfast Crown Court heard the prosecution had decided not to rely on part-heard evidence about CCTV images.

Retired RUC officer Joseph Haveron, 58, from Farm Lodge Grove in Greenisland, was accused of murdering his ex-wife Pauline, 53, on 18 April 2010.

Mr Haveron is on continuing bail and a date will be set for a new trial.

Forensic imagery analyst Mr Glen Stewart had told the court on 13 December that, in his opinion, a car matching that owned by Mr Haveron was captured on CCTV at a Doagh filling station, about two miles from the scene where his ex-wife was found murdered.

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

On Monday, the prosecuting barrister said, after 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 jurors to be retained, Mr Justice Treacy discharged them from the trial, thanking them for the "obvious attention" that they had paid to the evidence.

Mrs Haveron was found dead in her own home by her lover, Andrew Jones.

Mr 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. She had been strangled.