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  1. ITV Report

Man appears in court charged with murder of ex-wife and partner

Rhys Hancock Credit: Facebook/ITV News Central

A man has appeared in court charged with murdering his ex-wife and her new partner after they were both found fatally stabbed on New Year's Day.

Rhys Hancock is accused of killing Helen Hancock, 39, and Martin Griffiths, 48, at the separated couple's former home in Duffield.

They were both discovered with multiple stab wounds.

Rhys Hancock, a headteacher who had three children with his ex-wife Helen Hancock, appeared at Derby Crown Court for a brief 10-minute hearing today, January 6.

Hancock, 39, stared ahead during the hearing as the Recorder of Derby, Judge Nirmal Shant QC set a provisional trial date for August 24, this year.

A pre-trial hearing was also set, to be held at the same court on February 28.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Helen Hancock (nee Almey) and Martin Griffith Credit: Derbyshire Police

A previous court hearing, before the city's magistrates on Friday (January 3), heard how Rhys Hancock was arrested outside the separated couple's former home in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Police then discovered Martin Griffiths, who was already deceased, and Helen Hancock, who was fatally injured and later died, despite the efforts of paramedics.

Magistrates heard that Rhys and Helen Hancock had separated "some time ago."

Nobody else was in the house at the time and the couple's three children had been staying with a grandparent at the time of the incident.