A TEENAGER accused of the killing of football fan Robert Burgess in the garden of a Coventry house is to stand trial in March next year.
The 17-year-old from Coventry has been charged with the murder of 37-year-old Mr Burgess on October 3.
He appeared at Warwick Crown Court, where Judge Andrew Lockhart QC ordered that he should not be identified because of his age, via a video link with HMP Wetherby where he is on remand.
The charge follows an incident in the garden of a house in Armfield Street, Bell Green, Coventry, at shortly after 9pm on Thursday October 3.
Mr Burgess, a keen Coventry City supporter, had been stabbed to the chest, and despite the efforts of paramedics he was declared dead at the scene.
Judge Lockhart said the order that the teenager, who could clearly be seen to have two black eyes, cannot be identified should remain in force ‘until and unless lifted by the trial judge.’
Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said the case had been listed for the issue of bail to be considered, but although there was a formal application, it was ‘not to be pursued today.’
Ian Windridge, defending, explained that Coventry Youth Offending Team had been in liaison with the youth’s solicitors, and there were further matters to be considered before a bail application could be made.
Mr Grieves-Smith asked for the case to be listed again later this month if a further hearing is needed to consider the issue of bail, which he pointed out would be opposed.
And he added that the custody time limit, the period of time a defendant can be held in custody before standing trial, expires on April 8 next year.
In anticipation of a trial on the murder charge, Judge Lockhart said it was estimated it would take ten days.
He said the trial would be listed in front of Judge Sylvia de Bertodano on March 23 next year, pointing out: “That is the only date that can be offered within the custody time limit.”
And Judge Lockhart said that before then, there should be a plea and trial preparation hearing next month.
Adjourning the case until then and remanding the youth in custody, the judge told him: “You will be back in this court on the 4th of November for a further hearing when you will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty to the charge.”