Murder hearing halted after accused collapses

Sadie Hartley

Sadie Hartley

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A court hearing of a woman charged with the murder of a Lancashire businesswoman was halted after the accused collapsed to the floor.

Katrina Walsh, 55, became visibly distressed when she appeared at Preston Crown Court by video link from HMP New Hall.

The video link to the jail was abruptly disconnected and the hearing continued solely with Walsh’s co-accused, Sarah Williams.

Walsh and co-defendant Williams, 34, of Blacon, Chester, are both accused of the murder of former Wesham businesswoman Sadie Hartley, 60, in Helmshore, Lancs on January 14.

Ms Hartley, who ran her own business, was found dead from stab wounds at her house in Sunny Bank Road, Helmshore, the day after.

Williams spoke only to confirm her name and that she could hear proceedings from HMP Styal, where she is being held.

No pleas were entered and there was no applications for bail from either defendant.

Judge Mark Brown ordered a further hearing to take place on May 4, ahead of a trial before Mr Justice Turner at Preston Crown Court on July 4.