A young man accused of killing his mother’s partner by stabbing him during a confrontation in May is to stand trial early next year.
Jack Merrilees pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the murder of 55-year-old Edward Cornet on May 3.
The charge follows an incident at Mr Cornet’s home in Blackwell Lane, Hatton Park, near Warwick, where he lived with his partner Stephanie Merrilees.
The police and an ambulance went to the address at about 11pm and found Mr Cornet, who was suffering from a stab wound.
But despite the efforts of paramedics at the scene, he died of his injuries after being rushed to University Hospital in Coventry.
After Merrilees (21) of Linkway, Leamington, had entered his not guilty plea, prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said it was expected his trial will last for ten days.
After reading the defence case statement, which has to be served when a not guilty plea is entered, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones observed: “I note the defence is self-defence, defence of another and no murderous intent.”
During a discussion on suitable trial dates, Jane Brady, defending, said that neither she nor Jane Bickerstaff QC would be available if it was listed in January.
But Judge Griffith-Jones said her request for it to be put back until February was not possible, and that the trial would be listed to begin on January 18.
Merrilees had been granted bail by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court on May 7 with a number of conditions, including that he did not have any contact with his mother or his girlfriend.
But Mr Grieves-Smith revealed: “The mother and girlfriend will not be called by the prosecution, so there is no longer any reason to object to him having contact with them.”
So, adjourning the case for trial and renewing bail, Judge Griffith-Jones removed that condition.