A MAN accused of the knife murder of Andrew Lucas may be tried by a jury next year.
The 20-year-old, who was originally from Hebburn, died after he was found stabbed on the street near his Washington home on Saturday morning.
Mark Spalding, of no fixed address, made his first appearance at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday accused of Andrew’s murder.
The 45-year-old, who was wearing a black Nike t-shirt, spoke only to confirm his name and confirm he understood what had happened at the short hearing.
The court heard Spalding will be back in court for a plea and directions hearing on January 21 next year.
A trial date has been listed for April 15 next year and is estimated to last seven days.
John Elvidge QC, defending made no application for bail.
Judge James Goss QC told Spalding: “On January 21 next year a plea and directions hearing will be held.
“In the event of you pleading not guilty and a trial is to take place it will take place beginning on April 15 next year, with a time estimate of seven days.”
Paramedics were called to Warkworth Close, in the Oxclose area of Washington, at around 3.40am, on Saturday, after reports of an attack.
Mr Lucas was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead suffering multiple stab wounds but nothing could be done to save his life, and he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Mr Lucas is thought to have lived in the flats at Warkworth Close, but originally comes from Hebburn in South Tyneside.