Halifax man accused of murder to face retrial

Scene of murder, Athol Close, Ovenden, Halifax
Scene of murder, Athol Close, Ovenden, Halifax

Two men accused of murdering a 49-year-old man during a disturbance at a property in Halifax are to face a retrial in September after a jury failed to reach any verdicts this afternoon (Tuesday).

Darren Moorhouse died after suffering a single stab wound to the heart during a violent incident at a property in Athol Close, Ovenden, in January.

Scene of murder, Athol Close, Ovenden, Halifax

Scene of murder, Athol Close, Ovenden, Halifax

A jury at Bradford Crown Court heard that 26-year-old Buxton man Dale Dwyer was responsible for the fatal stabbing, but both he and his co-accused Christopher Churchill, 34, denied the murder charge during a two-week trial.

The jury heard defence claims that Mr Moorhouse had been “in a rage” after his friend Kate Longshaw got into an fight with her former partner Churchill over a television when he turned up at her first floor flat to collect his belongings.

The prosecution alleged that it was a case of “two onto one” as the pair attacked Mr Moorhouse before he was stabbed by Dwyer with a knife which had earlier been handed to him by Churchill during the disturbance.

Prosecutor Dafydd Enoch QC alleged at the start of the trial that the pair had punched and bitten Mr Moorhouse and that Churchill had kicked their victim in the head as he lay dying on a landing.

Dwyer, who had travelled to Halifax that day to help his friend collect his belongings, claimed that Mr Moorhouse was attacking him with a telescope in the ground floor foyer area when he fatally injured him with the knife.

Mr Moorhouse’s mother Jean and other family members were sat in the public gallery as the jury foreman confirmed that after more than eight hours of deliberation they had failed to reach any verdicts in the case.

The Honourable Mr Justice Soole formally discharged the jury from the case and after further discussions between counsel and the judge it was confirmed that a retrial would be fixed to start at Bradford Crown Court on September 25 with a time estimate of two to three weeks.

The judge remanded Dwyer and Churchill back into custody until their retrial.