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Robert Flowerday: Michael Gerard Owens given 16-year minimum jail term


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Robert Flowerday: Michael Gerard Owens given 16-year minimum jail term

Image caption Michael Gerard Owens initially denied murder A man who killed a retired teacher during a burglary he carried out to help clear a drugs debt, has been jailed for a minimum of 16 years. Michael Gerard Owens, 35, of Lisburn Road, Glenavy, pleaded guilty to murder at Belfast Crown Court in October and…

Robert Flowerday: Michael Gerard Owens given 16-year minimum jail term

Michael Gerard Owens, who has been sentenced to life for the murder of retired teacher Robert Flowerday

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Michael Gerard Owens initially denied murder

A man who killed a retired teacher during a burglary he carried out to help clear a drugs debt, has been jailed for a minimum of 16 years.

Michael Gerard Owens, 35, of Lisburn Road, Glenavy, pleaded guilty to murder at Belfast Crown Court in October and was given a life sentence.

The body of 64-year-old Mr Flowerday was found in his home on Mill Road in Crumlin in January 2018.

A hammer, hatchet and poker were used in the murder.

Owens had initially denied the murder, but later pleaded guilty.

Mr Flowerday, who lived alone, was still involved in tutoring after he left his job at Antrim Grammar School.

The alarm was raised on 28 January 2018 after he failed to turn up for a tutoring session, something that was very out of character.

The parents of his pupil went to Mr Flowerday’s home to find an “unknown male” inside.

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Robert Flowerday’s body was found in his home in Crumlin in January 2018

They knocked the door but no-one answered and the lights were turned out.

Police then gained access to the property and found his body sitting on an armchair, covered in a duvet and one cushion.

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The court was told Owens had owed money because of his cocaine addiction.

The judge said his “attempt to steal money escalated into a violent assault”.

He said Mr Flowerday had suffered a “vicious and prolonged attack in his own home”.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Flowerday had 18 lacerations to his scalp, face and neck and 20 bruises on his hands, arms, legs and torso.

His nose and jaw were also broken.

The judge said Mr Flowerday had led a “worthy and blameless” life.

Owens also admitted one charge of burgling Mr Flowerday’s home on an unknown date between 27 January and 30 January 2018.

He was sentenced Owens to a minimum of 16 years and six months for the murder, and two years for burglary, to be served concurrently.

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