Man charged with murder of retired teacher

A man has been charged with murder following the death of an 81-year-old woman in Bangor.

Patricia "Patsy" Aust, a retired teacher, was found dead at a house in Hawthorne Court in the County Down city on Sunday.

An 85-year-old man has been charged with her murder and is expected to appear before Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

The minister of the church Ms Aust attended said the whole family were a much-loved part of a very tight-knit community.

Mark Johnston, from St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, said: "It’s been totally devastating. We’re still struggling to get our head around it."

Presbyterian minister Mark Johnston
Presbyterian minister Mark Johnston said the community was shocked by her death [BBC]

Mr Johnson said Ms Aust regularly took her young grandson to the church's community outreach events.

She was also involved in youth ministries within the church.

"Everybody is totally shocked and devastated because Patsy and her whole family are much loved and much cared for," the minister said.

He added that Ms Aust had recently lost her son, who died in September 2023.

"Patsy has continued to keep going, doing all that she can to care for her family, especially her grandson, in the midst of very difficult times," Mr Johnston said.

Police received a report of a death of a woman at about 17:30 BST on 2 June.

On arrival, officers found the body of a woman in the living room of the house.