Man denies murder of South Shields dad Ronnie Howard

Ronnie Howard
Ronnie Howard

A man has denied murdering a father-of-two during a violent disturbance at a South Shields pub.

Michael Wilson, 35, is accused of the murder of Ronnie Howard, who died after an attack last month.

Mr Howard was found unconscious by police who were called to a disturbance at The Prince Edward pub, in Prince Edward Road, South Shields.

The 31-year-old was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.

At Newcastle Crown Court, where Wilson appeared via video link to HMP Durham, he pleaded not guilty to murder.

Wilson, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, also pleaded not guilty to an assault on Anthony Jefferson.

Four other men arrested at the time of the incident appeared in the dock at the hearing.

David Wood, 28, of Sunderland Road, Anthony Kenrick, 33, of Centenary Avenue, and Paul Haley, 26, of Ascot Gardens, all South Shields, were all charged with affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Mr Jefferson.

They all pleaded not guilty to both charges.

John Hayes, 58, of Moor Lane, South Shields, who is charged with affray, did not enter a plea.

A further pre trial hearing will take place on August 8.

A trial, which is expected to take up to ten days, will start on October 4.

Judge Paul Sloan QC remanded Wilson in custody.

Wood, Kenrick, Haley and Hayes were all granted conditional bail.