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Bishop Street Court House Cate McCurry/PA

Man appears in court charged with the murder of Cornelius O’Neill in Co Derry this week

The court heard that the accused is the son of O’Neill’s partner.

A 33-YEAR-OLD man from Co Tyrone has appeared in court charged with the murder of Cornelius O’Neill.

Jason Tyrone Spence, of Millburn Street in Cookstown, faced a charge of murder as he appeared at Derry Magistrates’ Court today.

O’Neill, 56, died after being stabbed at a property in Kilrea, Co Derry, on Tuesday evening.

The court heard that the accused is the son of O’Neill’s partner.

Spence indicated he understood the charge as it was put to him.

A detective sergeant said he believed he could connect the accused to the charge.

The prosecution said O’Neill died after an “unprovoked attack” with a knife.

They said Spence drove away from the scene and was later arrested at his home, and that blood was found on his person and his clothing.

There was no application for bail.

The court also heard that Spence has a history of paranoid schizophrenia.

Psychiatric and psychological assessments were ordered.

District Judge Barney McElholm said the court extended condolences to O’Neill’s partner, family and friends, describing “a very tragic incident”.

“The law will take its course,” he added.

The next hearing of the case is set to take place on 20 September at Magherafelt Court.

Press Association