Date set for trial of 19-year-old accused of murdering teenager
A trial date has been set for a 19-year-old man charged with the murder of a teenager who disappeared after contacting his family to say he was on his way home.
Lewis Ashdown, of Normansland, Fairwarp, Uckfield East Sussex, appeared at Lewes Crown Court charged with the murder of Marc Williams.
The 18-year-old, also from Uckfield, went to the Maresfield area on Saturday but had not been seen since making the call to his family.
Search teams located a body in woodland in the Heron’s Ghyll area on Tuesday, and it was formally identified on Thursday as being that of Mr Williams.
Ashdown, who appeared in court via video-link, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the short hearing.
Judge Christine Laing QC approved a request by his legal team for a psychiatric report to be prepared on the defendant.
The judge adjourned the case for a plea and trial preparation hearing to be held on August 3, with a trial set for for January 17 2022.
She told Ashdown: “You are going to be in court on August 3 and on that date I anticipate the indictment, which is the charge that you face, will be put to you and you would be expected to put forward a plea.”
In a statement released through Sussex Police, Mr Williams’ family said: “Marc touched the hearts of so many people, and made their lives brighter with his loving, caring and thoughtful actions.
“We are feeling his loss every second and that will never change. Our hearts are broken.
“Rest peacefully, our cheeky boy. With so much love from Mum, Dad and your whole family.”