A PLEA and trial preparation hearing took place for a youth charged with the murder of a woman in Chapelford this morning, Friday.

The 17-year-old boy – who cannot be named or identified for legal reasons – has been charged with the murder of Chintzia McIntyre.

At around 9.40am on Tuesday, August 29, Cheshire Police was called to reports of an incident at an address on Phoenix Place.

Officers and paramedics attended and found that a 48-year-old woman had been seriously assaulted outside her home.

Sadly, despite the best efforts of all those involved, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives launched a murder investigation following the death and a 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder in connection to the incident.

A youth was charged with murder two days later and has since appeared before Warrington Magistrates’ Court and Liverpool Crown Court.

During those hearings, no formal application was made for bail on his behalf, and he was remanded in youth detention accommodation.

A trial date was provisionally set for January 29, 2024, but he is yet to enter a plea to the charge – and this was set to take place this morning back before Liverpool Crown Court.

However, the defendant was not present at the hearing, with no plea entered as a result.

Warrington Guardian: Police at the scene on Tuesday

Louise McCloskey, representing the prosecution in the case this morning, said: “The defendant is not needed at today’s hearing.

“The case has been listed today for a plea and trial preparation hearing, with a trial provisionally listed for January 29 next year.

“Both the prosecution and the defence feel this date is still retainable.”

Judge Andrew Menary, the honorary recorder of Liverpool, adjourned the case, with the next hearing set for December 20, and this will be a pre-trial review.

Residents reported seeing a huge police presence in the Phoenix Place vicinity on the morning of the incident, with at least seven police cars and vans spotted.

The police helicopter was spotted circling the area, while an air ambulance is also believed to have been dispatched.

A blue and yellow forensics tent was soon erected at the scene, with paramedics attending by road ambulance to assist.

People living in the area reported police knocking on doors and visiting businesses asking residents for statements and doorbell camera footage.

DS Jon Betts, of Warrington Local Policing Unit, said on the day of the incident: “I would like to reassure residents that this is believed to be an isolated incident and there is no risk to the wider community.

“There is currently an increased police presence in the local area, and I would urge anyone with any concerns to speak to an officer.”

Cheshire Police wishes to remind readers that legal proceedings are now active, and it is crucial that people avoid sharing details which could identify the defendant or speculate online about this case, as it could prejudice the legal process.