A murder suspect has appeared in court charged with brutally beating a man to death with a brick.
Phillip Haslam, 35, formerly of Gloucester Close, Kettering, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, robbery and burglary at Leicester Crown Court on Friday.
He is accused of tying up 62-year-old John Kiernan at his home in Havelock Street, Kettering, and killing him at some point between September 18 and October 2 last year.
Also in court was Christine Windle, 36, of Duke Street, Kettering, who is charged with robbery and burglary in the weeks leading up to the murder.
David Herbert, prosecuting the case, said: “The defendants entered premises together and stole property in the days leading up to the murder itself.
“It was a series of offences using violence against alcoholics in their 60s, vulnerable people.
“The prosecution needs to complete scientific work on the deceased’s flat and the property in Gloucester Close.
“There are dozens of items with traces of blood on them as the occupants were drug users.
“There was also blood on the trainers Haslam was wearing when he was arrested and on gloves found at his property.
“It seems clear the murder was by someone living at the property in Gloucester Road at the time and we say it was Haslam.”
Haslam sat in the dock dressed in a grey jumper with short, greying hair. On his right, Windle wore a black Umbro jumper and had short brown hair.
The defendants spoke only to confirm their names and to enter their not guilty pleas.
Both pleaded not guilty to robbery, taking a bank card and wallet, on September 1.
They also pleaded not guilty to a charge of burglary between August 31 and September 8.
They are accused of entering Mr Kiernan’s flat and stealing his bank card.
Friday’s plea and case management hearing will continue at Birmingham Crown Court on a day yet to be agreed during the week beginning Monday, February 20.
The Evening Telegraph reported in November how police officers and PCSOs investigating the murder put up posters near to Mr Kiernan’s home.
The move was to seek information following the arrest of Haslam.