January PE date for Moffatt murder accused

James Alexander McCook is led away in handcuffs from Ballymena Magistrates Court, after he accused of stabbing Norman Moffatt, 73, as the pensioner walked home after buying his morning newspaper in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, in January 2001. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 12, 2012. See PA story ULSTER Moffatt. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
James Alexander McCook is led away in handcuffs from Ballymena Magistrates Court, after he accused of stabbing Norman Moffatt, 73, as the pensioner walked home after buying his morning newspaper in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, in January 2001. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 12, 2012. See PA story ULSTER Moffatt. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire

THE man charged with the murder of Coleraine pensioner Norman Moffatt appeared before North Antrim Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday) via video link from Maghaberry Prison.

Mr Moffatt (73) was stabbed as he walked home from buying his morning paper back in 2011. He died in hosptial two months later.

James Alexander McCook (42) was arrested and charged with the murder earlier this year following a PSNI operation Lancashire.

A Preliminary Enquiry had been due to take place at Monday’s court, however it was adjourned last week to allow the defence to provide a list of witness names to the PPS.

Mr O’Neill, McCook’s solicitor told Monday’s court that he had given a list of names to the PPS.

He said that there was ‘signifiant progress’ in the case and that he was now in reciept of CCTV footage from the PPS.

A prosecutor from the PPS told the court that as some of the witnesses resided in England, they would need time to check availablity.

Three days have been set aside for the PE on January 14, 15 and 16.

The PE, to be held at North Antrim Magistrates’ Court will decide whether or not a prima facie case exists against 42-year-old McCook. During Monday’s short hearing, McCook only spoke to confirm his name.

He was remanded in custody, and will appear again via video link on Monday, December 31.