Seven Hartlepool men appear in court charged with the murder of Michael Phillips

Seven men charged with the murder of Michael Phillips have appeared at crown court.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 1:50 pm
Updated Friday, 27th September 2019, 4:09 pm
Seven people charged with the murder of Michael Phillips (pictured) have appeared at Teesside Crown Court

The 39-year-old was found dead at a property in the town’s Rydal Street following a disturbance at around 9pm on Monday, June 10.

Gary Jackson, 30, of The Darlings, Hart Village and Craig Thorpe, 36, of Young Street, Hartlepool did not enter a plea.

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Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “I’m aware from those representing Craig Thorpe they are anticipating an approach to dismiss the case.”

He asked if this was the same for Jackson and it was agreed both defendants were waiting for further evidence to be provided.

Solicitors were told an indication of an application to dismiss the case should be made by November 15.

At the court hearing on Friday, September 27, all seven defendants appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

Elliott also denied assaulting another man causing actual bodily harm, on June 10.

Darby denied a charge of possessing a prohibited weapon on June 12.

Judge Ashurst added: “Your case will be adjourned and the next date is going to be on December 5 where there will be a further pre-trial hearing to make sure preparation for the trail is on target.

“Your trial will be listed for January 14 next year.

“The best estimate that is given is one of between four and six weeks for the jury retirement.”

He told all defendants to speak to their solicitors and listen to the advice given to them.

“Gary Jackson and Craig Thorpe, you will be asked as to whether the charge against you should be dismissed. Notification of this should be received by November 15,” said the judge.

“You are all required to tell the court what your defence is to the charge, those parts you accept, those parts you dispute and why.”

All seven were remanded in custody.