TWO 16-year-old boys are to stand trial charged with the murder of a man in Christchurch

Emergency services were called to a property in Heath Road shortly before 8pm on January 4 after Dorset Police received reports of concern for the welfare of a man inside.

Officers attended the address and found the body of 35-year-old Edward Reeve.

The two defendants are both charged with murder “on or around” December 31, 2021.

The teenagers, who cannot be named because of their age, appeared at Winchester Crown Court by video link from Feltham Young Offender Institution for a short hearing on Thursday.

Judge Angela Morris adjourned the case to be tried before a High Court judge at Winchester starting on June 27, with a hearing for the defendants to enter a plea set for April 20.

She said: “Today both defendants will be remanded in custody. These matters will go over until April 20 for the plea and trial preparation hearing.”

Speaking to the defendants, she added: “It’s really important that you both engage with your legal teams and co-operate with them and give them all the information they need to properly advise you and prepare your case for trial.

“That is very important as this is a serious offence that you are both facing.”

In connection with the investigation, police are currently working in Ambury Lane in Burton.