Morecambe man denies murdering Heysham pensioner in fire three years ago

Grieving relatives of 94-year-old Mary Gregory attended court as the man accused of killing her appeared in the dock.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 12:38 pm

During a case management hearing at Preston Crown Court .Tiernan Darnton, 20, of The Promenade, Morecambe - who is a relative - pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering the pensioner.

It was originally believed Mary had died accidentally after her home in Levens Drive, Heysham, caught fire due to a discarded cigarette end three years ago.

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Lancashire man charged with murder after 2018 death of pensioner

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Mary Gregory

She was taken hospital following the blaze in May 2018 and died on June 1.

But a police investigation resumed in 2019 when detectives received "vital new information".

Judge Simon Medland QC set a provisional date of November 1 for his trial, which is expected to last for around two weeks, and said it was a "sensitive and complex case".

Darnton, who is a relative of the victim, has been remanded into custody since March.

His defence lawyer applied for bail but Judge Medland QC refused the application citing substantial grounds for believing he could interfere with prosecution witnesses.

(proceeding)

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