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January 4, 2003


From: Gloucestershire Citizen, UK - 04 Jan 2003

Three teenagers accused of murdering a deaf 19-year-old after a pub argument made their first appearance at Bristol Crown Court.

Also in the dock yesterday were five others accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice after Mark Burgess was attacked in Pillowell Road, Whitecroft, near Lydney on December 21.

The popular Yorkley Football Club player was allegedly punched and kicked in the street while walking home from the Royal Oak public house, where there was an alleged argument about a pool game.

He was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and transferred to Frenchay Hospital, where he died on Boxing Day.

In a packed courtroom yesterday - both public gallery and the press benches were full - Shaun O'Donnell, 18, of Main Road, Yorkley and two 17-year-old girls from Lydney and Awre respectively spoke only to confirm their names.

All three face charges of murdering Mark Burgess, stealing his wallet and mobile phone and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Jane Reynolds, 43, Peter Blake, 23, Zoe Chilcutt, 26, Paul Reynolds, 21, and Adam Hawkins, 21 - all from the Lydney area - who are all charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice, also confirmed their identities before Judge Simon Darwell-Smith.

After turning down an application from the defence to impose a press ban on revealing the identities of any of the defendants, the judge said: "Under Section 39 nothing can be published which will lead to the identification of the two 17-year-olds but I am not prepared to make a blanket ban on identifying the adult defendants."

Shaun O'Donnell, the two 17-year-olds and Peter Reynolds were remanded in custody and the remaining four were granted conditional bail.

All eight defendants will appear again at Bristol Crown Court for a plea and directions hearing on March 7.

Meanwhile an inquest was been opened on Mr Burgess by deputy Gloucester and district coroner David Dooley yesterday.

Mr Dooley was told that Mr Burgess's body was formally identified to a Home Office pathologist by Gloucestershire police family liaison officer Detective Constable Lisa Thorley.

The inquest was adjourned pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

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