A WELLESBOURNE woman has pleaded guilty to stealing a mobile phone from a man during an incident in which it is alleged he was punched and kicked to death in front of dozens of witnesses.
But the three men and a woman accused of killing victim Tristram Wallace, who had been expected to enter pleas during the same hearing at Birmingham Crown Court, had their cases adjourned.
Originally only the men, Toney Jelf (39) of Childs Close, Stratford; Peter Mallon (41) of Rumer Close, Long Marston; and Neil Potter (36) of Oakdene Court, Clopton Road, Stratford, were charged with 36-year-old Mr Wallace’s murder.
But after initially being charged only with attempted theft from him as he lay motionless on the ground, Donna Windsor (37) of Betjeman Close, Stratford, was also charged with being involved in his murder.
Mr Wallace, of Arden Street, Stratford, died at the scene after being involved in an incident near the junction of Arden Street and Birmingham Road during the late afternoon on June 22.
It was said at an earlier hearing that he was subjected to ‘a sustained assault by way of kicking, punching and stamping.’
With them in the dock was Florence Caines who prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said he understood was the only defendant who was to be arraigned at the hearing.
Caines (26) of Kineton Road, Wellesbourne, then pleaded guilty to the theft of Mr Wallace’s phone.
Discussing possible dates for trial of the other four defendants on the murder charge, the Recorder of Birmingham, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said that with a time estimate of four weeks, it could be tried at Nottingham Crown Court in February.
Judge Inman said that if the trial was to last longer than that, the earliest date it could be heard by a High Court judge was April 4 at Birmingham Crown Court.
Told that, because of the large number of witnesses to the incident, the trial was likely to last for six weeks, he remarked that although there was court time available in February, no High Court judge would be available to do a six-week trial at that time.
So he ordered that the trial, with a six-week time estimate, should be fixed for April 5 at Birmingham.
After ordering that a prosecution pathologist’s report should be served on the defence by late October, he adjourned the plea and case management hearing in respect of Jelf, Mallon, Potter and Windsor until December 11.
Jane Brady, for Caines, asked for her to be sentenced straight away for the theft, without a pre-sentence report, pointing out that she had already been on remand for 90 days.
But that was rejected by Judge Inman, although he said it could be reviewed at the next hearing, and all the defendants were remanded in custody until December.