Trial date set for 19-year-old accused of murder of teenager

A trial date has been set for a 19-year-old man charged with the murder of a teenager who disappeared after calling his family to say he was on his way home.

Lewis Ashdown, of Normansland, Fairwarp, Uckfield, East Sussex, appeared at Lewes Crown Court charged with the murder of Marc Williams.

The 18-year-old, from Uckfield, went to the Maresfield area on Saturday but had not been seen since he contacted his family to say he was on his way home.

Search teams located a body in woodland in the Heron’s Ghyll area on Tuesday which police have said is believed to be that of Mr Williams.

Marc Williams
Marc Williams (Sussex Police/PA)

Ashdown, who appeared by video-link, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the short hearing.

Judge Christine Laing QC approved a request by Ashdown’s legal team for a psychiatric report to be prepared on the defendant.

The judge adjourned the case for a plea and trial preparation hearing to be held on August 3 with a trial set for for January 17 2022.

She told the defendant: “You are going to be in court on August 3 and on that date I anticipate the indictment, which is the charge that you face, will be put to you and you would be expected to put forward a plea.”