Case against Chloe Mitchell alleged killer 'to be elevated to Crown Court after Easter'

Chloe Mitchell was last seen on CCTV in the early hours of Saturday 3 June in Ballymena town centre . Credit: UTV

The case against Brandon Rainey, who is accused of the murder of Chloe Mitchell is to be elevated to the Crown Court after Easter, a court has heard.

With Brandon Rainey appearing at Ballymena Magistrates' Court by videolink from prison and relatives of his alleged victim sitting in the public gallery of the court, a prosecuting lawyer asked for the Preliminary Enquiry to be heard on 18 April.

For any case to be returned to the Crown Court the PPS must establish there is a Prima Facie case against a defendant and in the large majority of cases, that it done by way of a PE where the defence agreed there is a case to answer.

Rainey, from James Street in Ballymena, is charged with the murder of 21-year-old Chloe Mitchell between 2-5 June last year.

Ms Mitchell was last seen on CCTV in the early hours of Saturday June 3 in Ballymena town centre and detectives investigating her disappearance launched a murder inquiry after suspected human remains were found in Ballymena.

Forensic officers attended a flat in the James Street area of Ballymena after the property had been cordoned off by police earlier in the week and the discovery came after extensive searches across Ballymena with members of the Community Rescue Service (CRS) assisting police.

In court on Thursday, defence counsel Neil Moore said papers in the case are “quite voluminous” and could be delivered to the officers of his instructing solicitors at Stewart Ballentine.

As well as listing the PE to be dealt with on 18 April, District Judge Nigel Broderick said he would review the matter on 21 March and remanded Rainey back into custody in the meantime.

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