Monday, February 25, 2008

Six-week murder trial for those accused of killing Sophie Lancaster - Rossendale Free Press

The Pre trial hearing was held looks like the actual trial will be a long one.

Six-week murder trial - News - Rossendale Free Press

22/ 2/2008

FIVE youths accused of murdering 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster, from Bacup, face a six-week trial next month.

The teenagers, who appeared for a pre-trial review at Preston Crown Court today (Friday), are also charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Miss Lancaster’s boyfriend, Robert Maltby, 21, also from Bacup.

But they pleaded not guilty to both offences, which they are alleged to have carried out in an attack in Stubbylee Park last August, at a previous court appearance in December.

The trial, which is due to start on Monday 10 March, had been expected to last four weeks, but this has now been extended by a fortnight due to the large number of witnesses and evidence.

The court heard there would be 50 witnesses, many of whom would give their evidence via a video link due to their age.

Judge Anthony Russell QC also ruled that legal representatives in the case would not have to wear their gowns and wigs due to the age of the witnesses involved.

He said arrangements would be made to accommodate the Lancaster family away from the defendants’ families during the trial; they sat in the press gallery during today’s hearing. The defendants are all aged between 15 and 17.

Two were remanded in custody, one of whom will appear in court again next Friday for a review of enquiries into his health. The other three were released on bail.

There is a write up of the Sophie concert in Preston earlier this month here:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Gary Forbes condition stable

Dromore Today, UK - 19 Feb 2008
By PAUL WILKINSON DROMORE High School's principal has described ex-pupil Gary Forbes, who was seriously injured after jumping from a bridge when confrontedby a group of youths in Belfast, as a boy who would not have harmed anyone. Mr. John Wilkinson said everyone at the school, where Gary's sister Holly has been a pupil for the past three years, is praying that the injured teenager should recover following emergency surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital and that his family should feel the support of friends.
As The Leader went to press a hospital spokesperson described Gary's condition as "stable". Gary was shopping with friends in Belfast and was returning to Central Station to take the train home at about 9.30pm on Saturday, February 9, when he was assaulted...