Topsham man denies attempted murder

PUBLISHED: 15:51 06 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:51 06 October 2016

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Alex Walton

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

A Topsham man has pleaded not guilty to attempting to murder his tenant in an axe attack.

Andrew Barnes, 60, denied a single charge of attempted murder when he appeared by video link at Exeter Crown Court from the city’s prison.

He is accused of attacking 29-year-old tenant Luke Down with a long handled axe and a knife near the home they shared at Altamira on September 5 this year.

Mr Down, also known as Luke Carthew, is still being treated for serious head injuries at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. He is no longer in a critical condition but doctors are still trying to ascertain if there will be continuing effects.

Judge Erik Salomonsen adjourned the case for a trial on February 13 next year and set down a timetable for the exchange of prosecution and defence evidence.

Mr Robert Duval, prosecuting, said a ‘complex and multi faceted’ police inquiry is still under way and further forensic and medical evidence is expected to be served.

Barnes was remanded in custody and the judge extended the custody time limit to the start of his trial because it would otherwise have expired a few days earlier, six months after his arrest.

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