A man has been remanded in custody charged with the murder of father-of-four Pat McCormick in Co Down.

The 55-year-old was last seen alive in the Comber area on 30 May.

His body was recovered from a lake in nearby Ballygowan on Tuesday.

David Gill, 26, from Ballygilighorn Road in Comber, appeared before Newtownards Magistrates' Court this morning.

He replied "not guilty" when the murder charge was put to him by police.

Mr Gill made no application for bail.

A charge of assisting offenders was withdrawn against co-accused Lesley-Ann Dodds, 21, from Mountcollyer Avenue in Belfast and replaced with a charge of aiding and abetting Mr McCormick's murder.

A bail application on behalf Ms Dodds - who is engaged to Mr Gill - and who also denies involvement in the murder, was rejected by Judge Rosalie Prytherch.

Both were remanded in custody to appear before the same court, via video-link, on 2 August.

An anonymous tip-off led to searches in several lakes in the Ballygowan area over three days before the discovery of Mr McCormick's body.

Detectives believe Mr McCormick was killed in or around the vicinity of flats on Castle Street, Comber.