Bail denied | 

Partner of Hollie Thomson (28) appears in court charged with her murder in Belfast

Initial post-mortem results indicated Ms Thomson had died from suffocation and had a fracture to cartilage in her neck

Christopher Morelli

Hollie Thomson© eyJpdiI6ImpNU3BLa1IxVmFTWEkrWWNL

Andrew MaddenBelfast Telegraph

A 31-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of 28-year-old Hollie Thomson in west Belfast.

Ms Thomson, from the Greenan area in the west of the city, was found dead at her home on Sunda September 11. A murder investigation was launched following a post-mortem of her body.

Christopher Morelli, of Willowvale Avenue in Belfast, was charged with Ms Thomson's murder on Tuesday night and appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, via videolink.

Detective Inspector Griffin said she could connect Morelli to the charge.

Speaking on the circumstances of the case, DI Griffin said Morelli was the partner of the deceased and initial post-mortem results indicated Ms Thomson had died from suffocation and had a fracture to cartilage in her neck.

Hollie Thomson© eyJpdiI6ImpNU3BLa1IxVmFTWEkrWWNL

The police officer said CCTV is still being collected in relation to the case and officers are in the process of interviewing potential witnesses. She added that an “object involved during the commission of this offence remains outstanding”.

DI Griffin said, following Ms Thomson’s death, the accused harmed himself “seriously” and had attempted to take his own life, resulting in him being hospitalised for 24 hours.

The officer said Morelli was “somewhat estranged” from most of his family, but lived with his elderly grandmother. The accused denied the charge during interviews with police, DI Griffin said, but otherwise gave “no comment” responses to other questions.

Objecting to an application for bail, DI Griffin said there are concerns the defendant could commit further offences and is a risk of flight.

A defence solicitor contended that his client had a clear record and no properties in other countries and, with certain conditions, bail should be granted.

District Judge McGarrity denied bail, with Morelli to appear before the court via video link on October 12.

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