A man who has admitted the murder of a sex offender in Huddersfield wants to withdraw his guilty plea.

David Mitchell, 47, of Manchester Road, Cowlersley, was due to be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for the murder of Robert Hind, 47 on December 11 last year.

But as the case was due to be called on his counsel Roderick Carus QC told the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC there was a problem and was given time for Mitchell’s solicitor to see him in the cells.

When the case returned to court Peter Killen representing Mitchell told the judge that he wanted to make an application to withdraw the plea he entered in June when his trial was due to start.

Judge Collier agreed to adjourn the case for the application to be heard in November and apologised to the family of Mr Hind who were in court that they would not see an immediate outcome in the case.

He told Mitchell: “I am going to adjourn proceedings today and you will now come back on November 7. You have indicated through Mr Killen you want to apply to withdraw your guilty plea and the rules require that must be done in writing.”

He said with the help of his solicitor he should set down in that application why he claims it would be unjust for the guilty plea to remain on record and that must be served on the court and prosecution by October 16.

Robert Hind
Robert Hind
 

The judge said Mitchell should indicate what evidence if any he would call for the hearing and whether he would waive legal privilege on his discussions with his lawyers.

He said if the application succeeded it would mean a trial would have to be arranged if it failed it would go to sentence but he warned that might not be done on the next date.

He apologised to Mr Hart’s family telling them: “I am very conscious that you were hoping for some conclusion to the matter today.”

But he said when somebody indicated they wished to withdraw a plea in a case as serious as this the court had to consider the situation.

Mitchell was charged with Mr Hind’s murder hours after human remains were found during a search of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Milnsbridge.