March 3, 2022 11.00 am

Lincolnshire man denies murder charges in court

The two alleged attacks happened on the same day

A man today (Thursday) denied charges of murder and attempted murder following two alleged attacks in Spalding on the same day.

Darren Kirk, 52, died following an alleged attack at a property in Cygnet Court, Spalding, on December 20.

A second man, Mark Stone, aged 46, was also taken to hospital in a critical condition on December 20 after an alleged serious assault at an address in Bowditch Road.

Following the incidents Lincolnshire Police charged Wayne Rule, 45, of Cygnet Court, Spalding, with murder and attempted murder.

Wearing a white t-shirt and grey jogging bottoms Rule this morning (Thursday) appeared before Judge Simon Hirst at Lincoln Crown Court. He spoke to confirm his name.

Rule then entered a not guilty plea to murdering Mr Kirk on December 20 last year.

He also denied a second charge of attempting to murder Mr Stone on the same date.

There was no bail application.

The case was adjourned for a trial before a High Court Judge at Lincoln Crown Court on July 4.

It is estimated the trial will last two weeks.

Judge Hirst remanded Rule back into custody until his next court appearance.

The case will next be listed for a pre-trial review hearing on April 22.

Judge Hirst told Rule: “Your trial, I hope, will be on July 4.”

A post mortem examination has given the cause of Mr Kirk’s death as a stab wound to the chest, an inquest opening heard.

Coroner Paul Smith has opened and adjourned the inquest proceedings and said Mr Kirk was confirmed dead by paramedics on December 20 last year at his home address in Cygnet Court.