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Teenager to go on trial next year accused of murder after man found dead in Delce Road, Rochester

An 18-year-old Rochester man has appeared in court this morning to plead not guilty to murdering a man whose body was found in a wheelie bin.

Stephen Chapman was discovered at the home of George Knights, who will now go on trial in May next year.

Stephen Chapman
Stephen Chapman

Knights, of Delce Road, appeared by prison video link from Elmley and denied the murder of Mr Chapman, known as Ginge, between October 22 and 26 this year.

Judge Philip St John-Stevens made a number of legal rulings relating to the trial which is expected to take up to three weeks.

Caroline Carberry QC is expected to present the prosecution case.

At a previous hearing she revealed that Mr Chapman's body was discovered at an address at Delce Road, Rochester after being reported missing by his girlfriend days earlier.

She said police discovered the body of the "well known and popular" Mr Chapman in a wheelie bin and Knights was later arrested at another address.

Officers were seen at the junction of Delce Road and Foord Street on the day Mr Chapman's body was found
Officers were seen at the junction of Delce Road and Foord Street on the day Mr Chapman's body was found

No application was made by defence and Knights was remanded into custody.

A 19-year-old man who was arrested during the investigation on suspicion of drug-related offences was initially released on bail, pending further inquiries, but has now been released without charge.

Fundraisers have been pulling together to help support the family of Mr Chapman.

Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe page which has so far raised £2,143.

Organisers wrote: "We have set this page up to help Becky and his family raise some money towards gingers funeral costs and any expenses and money towards Ginger's children.

'Good memories taken from us in a cruel way. We will get justice for you....'

"Becky would love for all of you to send any nice photos you have to him so we can add them all to a tribute page.

"Please share the go fund me page so we can raise as much money as possible to give him the send off he deserves and to take some financial stress off of his family."

Friends, family and well-wishers also took to social media to pay tribute to Mr Chapman and offer words of support to his family.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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