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US DNA expert for Acheson trial

Paul Toland, at Belfast Crown Court on Friday after being returneed for trial for the murder of Coleraine pensioner Bertie Acheson.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

Paul Toland, at Belfast Crown Court on Friday after being returneed for trial for the murder of Coleraine pensioner Bertie Acheson.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

A former husband and wife have both pleaded not guilty to the murder of a pensioner in Coleraine.

Bertie Acheson, 72, died after he had a heart attack during a break-in at his Mountsandel home on 30 April, 2012.

Court was told that a DNA expert will be flown in from America for the trial which is scheduled to begin in June.

The accused are Jennifer Toland, from County Antrim, and her ex-husband, Paul James Manolito Toland, from Molesworth Street in Cookstown, County Tyone.

After entering their not guilty pleas at Belfast Crown Court, their murder trial date was set for 2 June.

During the hearing, both accused also denied a second charge of stealing a purse belonging to the pensioner’s wife, Sheila Acheson, on the same night.

The purse contained £338 in cash.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks, but the judge said that, as yet, no court venue had been finalised.

A number of expert witnesses will be called by the defence, including a DNA expert from the United States and also experts in vehicle recognition

The accused were released on continuing bail and were excused from attending a planned review hearing on 2 May.

 
 
 

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