A police sergeant accused of murdering his wife has appeared via video-link at Chester Crown Court and will stand trial next year.
Father-of-three Darren McKie will stand before a jury on March 5 next year, accused of the murder of Leanne McKie, 39, who worked in the serious sexual offences unit at Greater Manchester Police.
The 43-year-old from Wilmslow who worked for the same police force as his wife made the brief appearance this morning (Wednesday, October 4) from HMP Altcourse in Liverpool.
A scheduled bail application was not made by his lawyer and the 15-minute hearing dealt with pre-trial procedural matters which cannot be reported, according to our sister paper Manchester Evening News.
McKie, wearing a grey sweatshirt, spoke only to confirm his name and to say that he could hear proceedings via the video link to the courtroom.
Judge Roger Dutton, remanding the defendant in custody, told him: “Your case comes for trial provisionally on the 5th of March, either here at Chester or at Liverpool.
“You are remanded in custody from this date. You will next appear at a pre-trial preliminary hearing but the date for that has not been allocated yet.”
Mrs McKie, who is believed to have links to the Chester and Deeside areas, was found dead in a lake at Poynton Park, Cheshire, in the early hours of last Friday morning. Her husband was arrested shortly afterwards and charged with her murder at their home in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
Police said they want to speak to a group of four people who walked past the lake off London Road North, Poynton, in the direction of Stockport at 12.15am on Friday.
Detectives said they were keen to hear from anyone who was in the area around Poynton Park between 11.30pm on September 28 and 3.30am the following day, and who may have witnessed anything suspicious or unusual.
They also reiterated their appeal to anyone who believes they may have seen the Mrs McKie’s red Mini car, registration number DA12 DFO, during the afternoon of September 28 and into the early hours of September 29 to come forward.
Anyone with any information should contact Cheshire police on 101 quoting 93 of 29/9/2017. Information can also be reported anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
Members of the public with any dashcam or video footage can upload it to the Cheshire police website HERE and reference incident 93 of 29/09/17.