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Natalie McNally murder accused may be sent to Crown Court in December

The accused did not appear via videolink from Maghaberry although he remains in custody

Stephen McCullagh

The case of the man accused of murdering Natalie McNally could be sent to the Crown Court before Christmas.

Stephen McCullagh (33), of Woodland Gardens, Lisburn, is charged with murdering Natalie in Lurgan on December 18 last year.

He did not appear via videolink from Maghaberry prison although he remains in custody.

At the outset of the short hearing before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court this morning (Friday), the prosecution told the court that the PPS had decided to prosecute the case, but that the directing officer has indicated that it will “take some time for papers to be prepared” for a Preliminary Enquiry.

The Preliminary Enquiry (PE) is the legal process through which a criminal case is referred to the Crown Court.

District Judge Bernie Kelly decided to remand McCullagh in custody until November 3, with a date for PE set for December 1.

She said: “If there’s any further information that can be provided to determine whether the first of December is likely to be a realistic date or not, we can then review that on the third of November.”

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