Murder charges open family’s old wounds

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This week marks the sixth anniversary of Margaret Weise’s death and the murder charges against Dromore man Leslie Ross have reopened old wounds for her family, says Mrs Weise’s son.

Margaret Weise died in August 2007 at the age of 50. Many in the town knew her by her married name of Margaret Herron. Those who knew her said she was an extremely popular woman, but she was also troubled.

Paul Herron said the police investigation had brought back painful memories for the Weise family,

Mr Herron told a daily newspaper: “It just brings back quite a lot.

“It will be six years (this) week since our mother died. We had closed that chapter and sort of tried to move on but this has all reopened old wounds.

The account manager was working in Birmingham when the news of his Leslie Ross’ arrest broke.

“I couldn’t wait to get home to my family,” he said.

Mr Herron was contacted by Michelle Bickerstaff’s sister Sharon Sparks with a heartfelt message of support during what he described as a very painful time for his family.

“I received a message from Michelle Bickerstaff’s sister wanting to know if we wanted to talk,” Mr Herron said.

“I will return her message and see what way things are with her family.

“I’m sure we can work on things together. Everyone is going through the same kind of pain.”

Mr Herron pleaded for local people to give police any information they have which might lead to answers about his mother’s death.

“Any information you give could be a piece of the jigsaw,” he said.

“I am sure there are people who know more than they are letting on.”

The case has thrust the usually quiet town of Dromore into the spotlight with international media decending on the town.

Stonemason Leslie Ross appeared in court last week accused of murdering Michelle Bickerstaff and Margaret Weise.

The police say a file surrounding the circumstances of a third woman’s death a decade ago has been forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service.

Previously detectives had described 52-year-old Lily McKee’s death as suspicious.