Lee McKnight: Carlisle teenager is sixth person charged with murder

Credit: Cumbria Police / ITV Border

A seventeen-year-old male has appeared in court and become the sixth person to be charged with murder following the death of Carlisle man Lee McKnight.

Four people, who are all from the city and include a mother and daughter, were initially charged with the alleged murder of 26-year-old Mr McKnight. His body was found in the river Caldew, in the Blackwell Hall area near Cummersdale, on the early morning of July 24.

Cumbria police announced last Wednesday that a 25-year-old man from Carlisle had become the fifth person to be charged with murder. He appeared before magistrates that day and in front of a judge at the city’s crown court last Friday.

A 17-year-old from the city appeared in front of District Judge Gerald Chalk on Wednesday morning at North and West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Carlisle.

The male, who can’t be identified because of his age, spoke only to confirm his age and date of birth. Previously accused of assisting an offender, he listened on a video link as the court clerk announced that he now faced a further charge which alleges the murder of Mr McKnight on July 24.

Prosecutor John Moran confirmed: “He has been charged with murder.”

No plea was entered by the youth, who is next due to appear at Carlisle Crown Court this coming Friday for a further hearing to progress the case. In the meantime he was remanded into secure accommodation by District Judge Chalk.

The five adults already jointly facing that murder charge - three men and two women - are next due to appear in front of a judge at the crown court on October 12, when pleas are due to be entered. So, too, is a seventh person - a 40-year-old woman - who faces a charge alleging that she assisted an offender.

A trial date has been provisionally listed for May next year and, it is estimated, will last around five weeks.