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Not guilty pleas as Neil Taylor and Daniel Fox appear accused of murdering James O'Rourke

Not guilty pleas have been entered for two men accused with a woman of murdering James O’Rourke after his half-naked body was discovered at flats in Chatham.

Neil Taylor and Daniel Fox declined to plead when they appeared at Maidstone Crown Court by video link with Elmley Prison on Thursday.

Fox, 34, said: “I am not in a position to plead at the moment.” Taylor, 35, added: “I am not able to as well.”

James O'Rourke
James O'Rourke

Judge Adele Williams said not guilty pleas would, therefore, be entered on their behalf.

Caroline Rushworth, 34, who appeared in the dock, was not asked to enter a plea at the brief hearing.

The three are alleged to have killed homeless Mr O’Rourke, 29, who was found wearing just his boxer shorts in the stairwell between floors four and five at Caulkers House in Shipwrights Avenue on Monday, August 28.

His body was discovered by a man visiting his mother at the flats shortly before 8am. He died from trauma to his face and head.

A trial date has been set for February 26 next year. A pre-trial review will be held on January 26.

Taylor, Rushworth, both of Shipwrights Avenue, and Fox, of no fixed address, were remanded in custody. All three wore rosary beads around their neck.

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