Jury sworn in | 

Three on trial relating to murder of William ‘Pat’ McCormick whose body was found in lake

The judge warned the jury they “must not conduct any internet searches or research, even though in this day and age it’s extremely tempting to find out what you can, I emphasise that you just not do that.”

William 'Pat' McCormick. Photo: PSNI/PA Wire.

Paul HigginsSunday World

A jury were sworn in on Monday in Armagh to hear the trial of three people relating to the murder of William ‘Pat’ McCormick whose body was found in a lake.

With members of the victim’s grieving family watching proceedings at Craigavon Crown Court by videolink, trial judge Mr Justice Scoffield told the jury the trial of the woman and two men would last up to six weeks.

Sitting side by side in the dock the three defendants, 24-year-old Lesley Ann Dodds, Jack Rowden and Andrew Leslie confirmed they were ready for their trial.

Dodds, with an address at Ross House, Mount Vernon in north Belfast, faces a single charge of murder on 30 May 2019.

Co Down men Leslie (23), from Mourne Crescent and Rowden (22), from Hillmount Cottages in Moneyreagh, both face three charges - two of perverting the course of justice and one of withholding information on dates between May 31 and July 5, 2019.

Selecting the jury, Mr Justice Scoffield told them how Mr McCormick was killed at Dodds’ former home on Castle Street in Comber at the end of May 2019 and that his body was found in a former fishing lake near Ballygowan in Co Down a few weeks later on July 9.

The part-time car worker and caretaker was 55 at the time of his death, said the judge, adding that three other men, 30-year-old David Gill, his brother William Gill (43) and Jonathan Montgomery (23) may feature in the evidence as “the prosecution say they’re important.”

With the jury sworn, Mr Justice Scoffield warned them they “must not conduct any internet searches or research, even though in this day and age it’s extremely tempting to find out what you can, I emphasise that you just not do that.”

He told the jury they must also “ignore any press reports” because at the end of the trial, set to last up to six weeks, they “must decide the case only on the evidence you hear in court.”

The jury were sent away until Wednesday when the case will be formally opened by prosecuting KC David McDowell.


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