Co Antrim man remanded into custody over murder of Robert Flowerday

Michael Owens appears at Ballymena Court on Wednesday.
Michael Owens appears at Ballymena Court on Wednesday.

A Glenavy man was remanded into custody on Wednesday accused of murdering retired school teacher Robert Flowerday.

Appearing handcuffed in the dock of Ballymena Magistrates Court and wearing a grey tracksuit, 33-year-old Michael Owens was charged with the murder of Mr Flowerday on January 28 and burglary of Mr Flowerday’s home on December 6 last year when he allegedly stole £100 cash.

Robert Flowerday

Robert Flowerday

Unemployed Owens, from the Lisburn Road in Glenavy, Co Antrim, spoke only to confirm his details and that he understood the two charges against him and according to the charge sheet, he made no reply after he was initially charged and cautioned.

The body of the 64-year-old retired teacher was found at his home on the Mill Road in Crumlin on Sunday evening.

The discovery was made by police who called to his house after a member of the public raised concerns.

Owens was charged on Tuesday night, hours after a candlelit vigil was held in Crumlin, as the community came together to mourn the death of Mr Flowerday and highlight recent attacks on the elderly.

Flowers left at the scene on Mill Road Road in Crumlin following the murder of Robert Flowerday

Flowers left at the scene on Mill Road Road in Crumlin following the murder of Robert Flowerday

Crowds of people gathered in Crumlin to pay their respects to the retired Antrim Grammar maths teacher who was described as a “wonderful, genuine, gentle and caring man” and regarded as an “A-star tutor”.

In court on Wednesday the officer in charge Detective Inspector Griffin told prosecuting lawyer Kirsten McKevitt that she believed she could connect Owens to each of the charges and as defence solicitor Peter Prenter did not apply for bail, District Judge Peter King remanded Owens into custody to appear again via videolink at Antrim Magistrates Court on February 27.