Charge withdrawn against murderer who was set to contest allegation of damaging electronic monitoring tag

Charge withdrawn against murderer who was set to contest allegation of damaging electronic monitoring tag

A MAN who recently pleaded guilty to murdering a father of four whose body was found in a lake in Ballygowan in July 2019, has had a charge of causing criminal damage to an electronic monitoring tag withdrawn by prosecutors.

David Gill (29), with an address listed as Ballyglighorn Road, Comber, admitted murdering William 'Pat' McCormick (55).

Mr McCormick was last seen alive in Comber on 30 May 2019.

His body was found in a lake in the Ballygowan area on 10 July of that year.

At Newtownards Magistrates' Court a contest for the tag case had been set for September 29.

The tag allegation related to May 17 this year.

A defence lawyer told a recent court the alleged tag incident "happened several days before he was finally surrendered into custody" and added: "It is not a classic case of cutting or breaking a tag, it is a stretched tag as I understand it".

In recent days, District Judge Mark Hamill had suggested that prosecutors examine the decision to prosecute the tag allegation as even if convicted at a contest the sentence would have no impact on the defendant's murder sentence.

At Court this week it was then heard prosecutors have withdrawn the criminal damage charge against Gill.