A MAN has appeared in court charged with the murder of Lee Butler.

Lewis Brown, 20, spoke only to confirm his name as he appeared in the dock at Oxford Crown Court this morning (Wednesday).

Wearing a grey tracksuit and a rosary around his neck, Brown, of Barton Village Road, Oxford, was not asked to enter pleas to charges of murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

Judge Ian Pringle QC remanded the Barton man in custody ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing on January 7 next year. The trial is expected to start on March 21 and last up to two weeks.

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Prosecutors allege he fatally stabbed 39-year-old Mr Butler in Bayswater Road, Barton, on Friday night.

The local man was stabbed in the chest and died at the scene.

In tributes released after his death, Mr Butler’s family described him as ‘gentle giant’ who was well-loved and popular. His death was a ‘complete waste of life’, they added.

During the short hearing on Wednesday morning, Jane Davies appeared for the Crown Prosecution Service and Fadi Daoud represented Brown.