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Court

Husband to stand trial accused of murdering wife

The husband of a woman whose body was recovered from water following an alleged boating incident near Devenish Island, Enniskillen, is to stand trial for her murder.

Stephen McKinney (42) who had been residing in Lifford, but since remanded on bail to an address at Castletown Square, Fintona, is accused of murdering his wife Lu Na, on a date between April 11 and 14 2017.

A preliminary investigation (PI) took place last month at Enniskillen Magistrates Court in which some evidence was challenged before District Judge Michael Ranaghan adjourned to consider his findings.

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Reporting restrictions were imposed banning any coverage of the case at that point.

The case today returned where Judge Ranaghan issued his judgement, ruling there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial, and the charge of murder was formally put to McKinney.

Dressed in black trousers, lilac shirt and mauve sweater he confirmed he understood the charge and declined to call witness or give evidence on his own behalf at this stage.

A lawyer appearing for the Public Prosecution Service said there was a case to answer.

Judge Ranaghan remanded McKinney on continuing bail to appear for arraignment at Dungannon Crown Court next month.

He also removed the reporting restriction imposed at a previous hearing, following a press challenge through the Lord Chief Justice.

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