Dromore murder accused
Leslie Ross appeared in
person in the dock at
Banbridge Court on Thursday for the first time since being charged with the murders of two local women.
Ross (66) was produced from custody for a scheduled preliminary enquiry.
The Meganlis Park man stands accused in the deaths of his former girlfriends Michelle Bickerstaff (47). on April 21, 2012, and Margaret Weise (50), on August 31, 2007.
It was reported in April that he was to be charged with the murder of a third former girlfriend, Elizabeth ‘Lily’ McKee (52) in 2002.
During previous court hearings it was indicated the PE papers were “very voluminous and lengthy”.
Once Ross appeared in the dock on Thursday, and confirmed his identity, the court heard it was not possible to proceed with the PE as the papers were not ready.
Dressed smartly, in a navy suit and tie, Ross was told by District Judge Mr Copeland that his case was coming up for a commital hearing.
The court heard that to date two charges had been put to Ross and during the interim period he was interviewed about a third victim but a third count, of the murder of Elizabeth McKee, had not been formally put to him.
Ross has consistently denied involvement in all three women’s deaths.
Both prosecution and defence agreed that the third charge would be formally put to Ross during the commital.
Mr Chambers for the prosecution asked for a further four week video remand, adding this would give the defence time to consider papers.
The case will be reviewed on 24 July with a view to fixing a date for the preliminary enquiry.
The prosecution previously indicated that charges against Ross of indecently assaulting a female, gross indecency with or towards a child and indecent assault on a female child, on dates between January 1, 1979 and June 16, 1990, would be withdrawn and he would be prosecuted for those by way of indictable summons, which would form part of a separate case against him.