Murder suspect on new charges

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A FORMER ink salesman accused of the murder of Full Sutton businessman Peter Battle is facing more charges, including the robbery of a man wanting to sell £4,000 worth of gold three weeks before.

Graham Richardson, 26, of Riverside View, in Norton, made a 20 minute video appearance from Wakefield Prison at Hull Crown Court last Thursday.

The court heard he is facing a further charge of robbery of Michael Cleaver who he was meeting to buy scrap gold in York. He is accused of robbery with two other men in Carmot Street, York, on 9 December - before Mr Battle met his death.

Richardson is also facing a charge of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply and theft of property from Mr Battle’s home between December 29 2012 and January 28.

In a May court hearing Richardson pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering 56-year-old Mr Battle. Mr Battle, an antiques dealer and trader on eBay, was found dead in his rural bungalow in Full Sutton in January.

He had been dead for some time and was found with multiple injuries in his living room. Richardson wore a grey sweatshirt and sat with two prison guards over his shoulder. Two officers from Humberside Police watched in the court room.

In the latest hearing crown barrister Chris Smith asked for the robbery charge to be linked with the murder charge. He said the further charge of possession of drugs with intent to supply was making its way through the courts.

Defence barrister Richard Simons said he could not object to the joining of the robbery allegation, but had yet to see the drugs allegation beyond the police charge.

Judge Jeremy Richardson, QC, agreed the robbery charge should be linked and told Richardson the fact the case was now being linked meant the scheduled July trial before a High Court judge would have to be vacated.

Darren Archer, 42, of Robinson Court, Walmgate, York, and Peter Egan, 47, of Warwick Street, York, also appeared in the same court hearing. They are also charged with robbery of Mr Cleaver. Neither men entered pleas at this stage.

Judge Richardson remanded Richardson and Peter Egan in custody. Archer was granted bail. The date of the trial will be fixed administratively within seven days.

Judge Richardson said the trial would now take longer than initially thought and a six-week trial would need to take place when a slot is found in the autumn of this year.