Westgate man Lee Birch denies murdering micropub boss wife Anne-Marie Birch found dead in Kingsgate
The husband of a woman who ran a Westgate-on-Sea micropub is to go on trial accused of her murder.
Lee Birch today pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering 47-year-old Anne-Marie Birch, from Broadstairs, in November last year.
The 55-year-old's two-week trial was set for March 31 at Canterbury Crown Court and
he was remanded in custody.
Anne and Lee Birch outside The Why Not in Westgate. Picture: Wayne McCabe
Birch, of Lymington Road, Westgate, was dressed in a grey jumper during the 10-minute hearing.
He and his wife Anne-Marie opened the Why Not? micropub in Lymington Road, converting it from a hair salon, in December 2012.
According to the venue's Facebook page, it shut in September after the couple struggled to make it work financially.
Police in Whiteness Road, Broadstairs
Mrs Birch was found by emergency services at an address in Whiteness Road, Kingsgate, at just after 1.30pm after initial reports she had been injured.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Birch was arrested later and questioned by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
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