Man appears in court accused of murdering a Leamington woman and two people from Coventry

He was told that he will stand trial early next year

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 8:18 pm

A man who admits killing a Coventry mother and son and then a Leamington woman just days later will stand trial early next year accused of their murders.

The trial of Anthony Russell had been due to start on January 12 – but following submissions during a hearing at Warwick Crown Court, it was put back to the end of that month.

Russell (39) of no fixed address, has pleaded not guilty to the murders of 58-year-old Julie Williams and her 32-year-old son David in October last year.

The trial of Anthony Russell had been due to start on January 12 – but following submissions during a hearing at Warwick Crown Court, it was put back to the end of that month.

Those charges followed the discovery of their bodies at separate flats in Riley Square, Coventry, on October 25 and 26.

Russell has also denied raping and murdering 31-year-old Nicole McGregor whose body was found in a wooded area on the edge of Newbold Comyn in Leamington on October 29.

He has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of all three victims, but those pleas were not accepted by the prosecution.

At a pre-trial review hearing, Mr Justice Mark Wall QC said the proposed date for the trial had been January 12, ‘but I understand that is going to cause difficulty.’

Prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC confirmed: “It would be better for the prosecution to move it to the 31st.

“I am confident, given the issues, that this should be capable of being resolved in terms of evidence, speeches and summing-up, in two weeks.”

And she indicated: “CCTV will form the backbone of the prosecution case.”

Agreeing to her application, Mr Justice Wall stressed: “I am prepared to fix the date for the 31st of January – but there can be no slippage.”

He extended the ‘custody time limit,’ the period of time a defendant can normally be held in custody before standing trial, to February 2, and remanded Russell in custody until his trial.