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Ipswich murder trial to run over two courtrooms amid coronavirus restrictions

PUBLISHED: 13:19 12 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:38 12 October 2020

Four people will stand trial for the murder of Joe Pooley, from Ipswich, who was found dead in the River Gipping in 2018   Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Four people will stand trial for the murder of Joe Pooley, from Ipswich, who was found dead in the River Gipping in 2018 Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Archant

The judge and barristers in the trial of four people accused of murdering a 22-year-old found dead in Ipswich’s River Gipping have spent the morning checking technology at Ipswich Crown Court which will allow the trial to be spread over two courtrooms.

Judge Martyn Levett said it was important for the public to know that the criminal justice system was able to run trials involving more than two defendants during restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

The four defendants will be split into pairs and will sit in two different courtrooms, with their barristers and the proceedings relayed between the courts.

A jury is expected to be selected from around 60 prospective jurors today (Monday, October 12) and prosecution counsel Christopher Paxton is expected to open the case on Wednesday.

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His opening will last two days.

Before the court are Sean Palmer, 29, of South Market Road, Great Yarmouth, Sebastian Smith, 34, of no fixed address, Becki West-Davidson, 29, of Rope Walk, Ipswich and Lisa-Marie Smith, 25, of Hawick, Roxburghshire.

They have all denied murdering Joe Pooley on or before August 7 2018.

Mr Pooley was found at around 10.30am on Monday, August 13 2018, in the River Gipping close to London Road in Ipswich.

A post-mortem examination found the likely cause of death was immersion in water.

The trial is expected to last eight weeks.


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