Ellen Higginbottom '˜stolen goods' case postponed for a week

The case of a man accused of trying to derail a Wigan murder investigation has been adjourned.

Friday, 6th October 2017, 4:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 4:34 am
Ellen Higginbottom

Technical issues meant David Steele’s pre-trial hearing at Crown Square in Manchester could not go ahead yesterday.

Steele is charged with handling stolen goods and perverting the course of justice, in accusations linked to the killing of Winstanley College student Ellen Higginbottom in Orrell Water Park earlier this year.

He will now return to court next week and will be brought from prison to stand in the dock.

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Steele appeared briefly in front of Judge David Stockdale QC to learn of the latest development via a video link from HMP Forest Bank.

He wore a black and white top and spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear what was said in court.

Neil Fryman, prosecuting, and Brian McKenna, defending, agreed the adjournment was the best way to proceed in the case.

Mr McKenna told the court: “There is a sensible basis on which this could be resolved and I am anxious to explain this to the defendant.”

Steele will appear at Crown Square on Friday October 13.

Last month Mark Buckley, 52, of New Hall Lane, Preston, was jailed for a minimum of 31 years after pleading guilty to Ellen’s murder. A post-mortem examination had shown the teenager had been killed by severe knife wounds to the neck.

Dean Speakman, 30, and Vicky Calland, 31, both from Cob Moor Avenue, Billinge, have been respectively jailed for 20 months and 16 months after admitting thy perverted the course of justice although Calland’s term was suspended for two years.