Cumbria Crack

Technical problems delay plea hearing of four facing Lee McKnight murder charge

Lee McKnight

A JUDGE has adjourned the case of four people charged with the alleged murder of a Carlisle man because of technical difficulties with the sharing of evidence between barristers.

Cumbria police launched a large scale investigation and cordoned off a vast area around a stretch of the river Caldew in the city after receiving a call, at 5-24am on Friday, 24th July, that 26-year-old Lee McKnight’s body had been found in the water in the Blackwell Hall area near Cummersdale.

Four people, all from Carlisle, have since been charged with the alleged murder of Mr McKnight on that date.

They are Jamie Davison, 26, of Beverley Rise; 51-year-old Paul Roberts, of Grey Street; and mother and daughter Carol Diane Edgar, 47, and 26-year-old Coral Edgar, both of Charles Street.

Another woman, 40-year-old Janice Edgar, of Dale End Road, Carlisle, and a 17-year-old youth from the city who can’t be identified because of his age, each face one charge alleging the assisting of an offender.

All six appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today (MON) when they were due to formally enter pleas to the respective charges they face. However, the case was adjourned after the prosecutor revealed that an “inexplicable” technical difficulty had prevented key documents and evidence being uploaded on a digital system to which all lawyers in the case, and the judge, are given access as the case progresses.

The court was told the unexpected problem had prevented defence counsel from gleaning the precise extent of the prosecution case against the respective defendants, and meant no pleas could be entered at this stage.

Judge Nicholas Dean QC adjourned the case until 12th October, and remanded all adult defendants in custody in the meantime. Judge Dean set a deadline of this coming Friday for the difficulty to be resolved, saying: “The technical issues need to be sorted out as a matter of urgency.”

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