Man to face murder trial over death of 30-year-old Castleford woman Rebecca Simpson

Rebecca Simpson died after being found with serious head injuries at her home in Castleford.
Rebecca Simpson died after being found with serious head injuries at her home in Castleford.

A man is to go on trial accused of murdering a woman who was found dead at her home in Castleford.

Ricky Knott 32, pleaded not guilty to murdering 30-year-old Rebecca Simpson when he appeared before Leeds Crown Court today (September 25).

Ms Simpson died in hospital on Monday August 26 after being found with serious head injuries at a property on Smawthorne Grove.

Knott appeared in the dock of the court beside two security officers during the 50-minute hearing.

The defendant spoke only to confirm his name and enter the not guilty plea.

Members of Ms Simpson's family sat in the public gallery throughout the hearing.

Knott's relatives were also in court during the hearing.

A new trial date was set for January 14 next year with a time estimate of 12 days.

A High Court judge is likely to hear the case.

Simon Myseron, QC, prosecuting, said reports were still being prepared by expert witnesses in the case, including a pathologist and toxicologist.

A bail application, which was made by Knott's barrister Bryan Cox, QC, was heard in open court.

Bail was refused by the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Guy Kearl, QC.

Knott, of Arnside Close, Castleford, was remanded in custody.

A case management hearing will be heard before the court on November 4 in which the defendant must attend

During the hearing, the judge said: "This is a serious and important case for all involved."