TWO men will face a trial this summer after pleading not guilty to a charge of murder.

Homeless Paul Mark Gerlach, 51, and 50-year-old Louis Borzoni of Hamilton Road, Boscombe, have denied killing Rico Dardis on Monday, May 27 last year.

The pair appeared at Winchester Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing this morning.

The body of Mr Dardis, 30, of Hawkwood Mews, Boscombe, was discovered near groynes at Seaway Avenue, Friar's Cliff, Christchurch.

His cause of death was recorded by a coroner as drowning, and he also suffered injuries caused by a boat propeller.

Police were first alerted to the incident by members of the public, who said they had seen two men acting suspiciously in a boat.

A three-week trial will begin at the court on Wednesday, June 4.

During the defendants' first appearance at Bournemouth Magistrates' Court, friends of Mr Dardis were ordered to leave the room after shouting abuse.

One yelled: “You're safer inside” and swore during the brief hearing.