Group accused of murdering Northampton teenager will not face trial until 2018
The seven people charged with murdering 17-year-old Liam Hunt in Northampton will not face a trial until the anniversary of the teenager's death.
Liam Hunt was stabbed to death in St George's Street, near the town centre, on February 14 this year, but a Northampton Crown Court hearing yesterday saw a six-week trial set for February 5, 2018.
None of the seven people charged with his murder appeared in court, but an order was made to keep them on remand in their absence.
At this stage only 18-year-old James Dodd, of Sentinel Court, Camp Hill and Aaron Connor Joseph, 20, of Hylands Road, Walthamstow, London can be named as the other five defendants in the case are aged under 18.
Yesterday the court heard how each will have to make a separate bail application if they are to leave custody on bail at any stage before the trial.
While there had provisionally been a four-week trial date set for the summertime, prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones QC, said this was an "under-estimation" given the number of witnesses due to be presented.
Judge Rupert Mayo proposed the week beginning February 5, as it was the nearest available slot at Northampton Crown Court.
"I'm not having this case transferred to Stafford or anywhere like that," he said. "Given the local sensitivities and the local witnesses."
It means part of the trial will almost certainly coincide with the anniversary of Liam Hunt's death, however the judge said there could be special dispensation not to sit on that day.
The prosecution alleges the fatal blow was knife wound to the 17-year-old's neck.