Rugby teenager accused of murder says he was 'acting in self-defence'

Matthew Naysmith has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mark Richmond. The trial has been fixed for February 28 next year

A teenager accused of the murder of a man who died after suffering suffered multiple injuries during an incident in Rugby says he was acting in self-defence, a judge has heard.

Matthew Naysmith (18) of Newland Street, Rugby, pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the murder of Mark Richmond.

His barrister Paul Mason explained that the issue in the trial will be that Naysmith says he was acting in self-defence during the incident last month.

Matthew Naysmith (18) of Newland Street, Rugby, pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the murder of Mark Richmond.

The charge follows the police and paramedics being called to an address in Newland Street at just after six in the morning on September 2.

They found Mr Richmond, who was in his 40s, with serious multiple head injuries, and he was rushed to hospital where he died two days later.

Discussing the witnesses to be called during the trial, prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said he had initially intended only to call two people as witnesses to the incident itself.

But in view of the issue in the case, more witnesses would now be giving evidence in the trial, which he said had been fixed for February 28 next year.

Mr Grieves-Smith added that all the prosecution evidence would be served on the defence by October 26 – with the exception of pathology reports which would be served ‘by Christmas.’

Adjourning for the trial, which is expected to last for two weeks, with a pre-trial hearing at the end of January, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC remanded Naysmith in custody.

Warning him that it may go ahead in his absence if he fails to attend, Judge Lockhart told him: “We will conduct your trial here at this court, and that trial will take place on the 28th of February.”