Tony the Fridge will face trial after 100-mile ‘ultra marathon’

Tony Phoenix-Morrison from Hebburn at the launch of his 40 marathons in 40 days challenge in Newcastle. The super-fit grandfather will run about seven hours per day from John O'Groats to Lands End with a 42.5kg fridge on his back in aid of The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 1, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Tony Phoenix-Morrison from Hebburn at the launch of his 40 marathons in 40 days challenge in Newcastle. The super-fit grandfather will run about seven hours per day from John O'Groats to Lands End with a 42.5kg fridge on his back in aid of The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 1, 2013. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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Tony the Fridge will now stand trial on December 11 after he completes a 100-mile ‘ultra marathon’.

The charity runner – real name Anthony Morrison – will be tried by magistrates on five charges of violence involving four members of the same family last summer.

Tony 'The Fridge' Morrison. Photo:  Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Tony 'The Fridge' Morrison. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The 51-year-old from South Tyneside, famous for raising more than £100,000 for charity by running with a 42kg fridge on his back, denies all the charges against him.

These are four counts of common assault against members of the Mallaby family, and one of using violence to secure entry into their home in Hylton Lane, Bunny Hill, Sunderland, on June 16, last year.

It was the seventh time the case was listed and he appeared in the dock at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

At a previous hearing, magistrates heard how the charity champ “nearly everything” including his business, and that he “disengaged from society” due to concentrating on his charity endeavours.

“He is due to take part in an ultra-marathon at the end of October. It’s a 100-mile event.”

Solicitor Kevin Smallcombe

Morrison, of Jutland Avenue, Hebburn, first entered not guilty pleas on August 18, last year, and the case was listed for trial on December, 15, 2014.

The trial was then vacated twice, most recently on September 2, when Morrison changed his legal representation.

The case was adjourned again, and Morrison’s new solicitor Kevin Smallcombe told the court he was unable to proceed, due to issues that needed ironing out with his client’s legal aid application.

Mr Smallcombe said he needed the ‘green light’ from the Government’s Legal Aid Agency, and told the bench Morrison has another endurance event planned for the end of next month.

“He is due to take part in an ultra-marathon at the end of October,” he said. “It’s a 100-mile event.”

Chairman of the bench, Dorothy Lightfoot, agreed to adjourn the case for eight weeks. The trial will now go ahead on December 11 and has been listed for a full day.

Morrison was released on bail, on the condition that he does not contact prosecution witnesses or go to the home of his alleged victims.