Witnesses to travel from England for McCook PE

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.

During Monday’s short sitting, a spokesperson for the PPS told the court that the Preliminary Enquiry was on course for three days in 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.

The PPS spokesperson said that there was a difficulty in relation to two witnesses, who would be travelling from England.

She said that they were “vital” witneses and asked the court for a further week to allow the PPS to get in contact with them to check their availabilty for the PE.

Mr O’Neill, McCook’s solicitor pointed out that the witnesses were only travelling from Manchester. He said: “It’s a 40 minute flight, we are not asking the impossible here.”

Mr O’Neill asked the PPS to bring forward any information that had following the examination of the CCTV footage of the incident.

Earlier this year, CCTV footage of the incident was examined by experts from the FBI and the Metropolitan Police in England.

The case was adjourned until next Monday, January 7 when the court will be given an update prior to the PE.

McCook was remanded in custody, he will re-appear again via video link on Monday, January 7.