A Hartlepool man has pleaded not guilty to two charges of manslaughter by administering an overdose of heroin and will face trial next year.
Andrew Williams, 48, appeared at Teesside Crown Court today following the death of Samantha Archer, 43.
Her body was found in a terraced house in Brafferton Street, Hartlepool, where the pair lived together on February 10 this year.
He denied all charges during today's 13-minute hearing, and will face trial on June 3, 2019. It is expected to take four to five days.
Stephen Constantine, defending, said that there was no issue with the toxicology report in the case, and that the defence would call evidence from the toxicologist and the pathologist among others.
The defence is expected to be led by a Queen's Counsel at trial, after an indication by the judge.
Ms Archer's mother sat in the court's public gallery during the court appearance.
The Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC extended bail for Williams, now of Stages Academy, Middlesbrough, until his next court appearance on April 1.