DEFENDANTS accused of involvement in a knife murder near Leamington town centre are to stand trial at a new ‘super-court’.
Six of the nine defendants pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the murder of 34-year-old Carl Moorhouse in May last year.
The charge follows an incident in Lower Leam Street where officers found Mr Moorhouse, from Coventry, with a stab wound to his chest.
Mr Moorhouse, who had recently become a father for the first time, was rushed to hospital but, despite efforts, could not be saved.
Two of the defendants who entered pleas during the hearing, Adam Padley of Melis Grove, Witton, Birmingham, and Reuben Nall of Rookery Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, also denied aggravated burglary at a flat in Willes Road, Leamington.
In addition to denying the murder charge, they and Emma Bennet of Wyken Court, Coventry, Jamani Cunningham of Copthall Road, Sandwell, Tau Randall of St Peters Road, Handsworth; and Javarnty Scott of Osborne Road, Handsworth, pleaded not guilty to conspiring to inflict grievous bodily harm.
Also in the dock was Darnelle Sappleton of Farm Street, Lozells, Birmingham, whose case was adjourned at the request of his barrister Kevin Hegarty QC for a psychiatric report to be prepared on him.
Two other men, Callum Huburn of Yardley Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, and Terry Nall of Regents Road, Hansworth, for different reasons, were not brought from the jails where they are on remand.
Both face the murder and conspiracy to inflict grievous bodily harm charges, with Terry Nall also accused of aggravated burglary – and are expected to plead not guilty when their cases are re-listed.
Because of restrictions on numbers of defendants in the dock as a result of the pandemic, it was not going to be possible for all nine defendants to stand trial together at either Warwick or Coventry crown courts.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC indicated: “I sought this trial to be moved to a place where they could be tried together within the custody time limits.
“I have achieved a slot at the new major court centre to be opened at Loughborough.”
The court centre is to be opened specifically to deal with large multi-handed trials from across the country.
The trial is to begin on November 8 and to continue into next year.
And adjourning the case until the trial, Judge Lockhart remanded all the defendants in custody.