A MAN awaiting trial charged with murder will have to wait until next week to learn whether he can be released until he faces a jury.

Andrew Lee Pearson is alleged to have killed and imprisoned Natalie Harker, of Colburn, near Richmond, on October 9 last year.

The 30-year-old was found dead in Brough with St Giles, near Catterick. She had previously been reported missing.

Pearson, of Chestnut Court, Catterick Garrison, was due to stand trial today at Teesside Crown Court charged with murder and kidnap.

John Elvidge QC said his client intended to lodge a bail application to secure his release until a trial date could be set some time in the future.

An application from the Crown Prosecution Service for an extension to Pearson's custody time limit will also be heard in April 9.

Mr Elvidge QC urged the judge to refuse the application as the prosecution case against his client was not fully disclosed ahead of his trial, which was scheduled to have started on Monday.

He said the unavailability of key prosecution documents meant that the trial would have been adjourned regardless of the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Judge Paul Watson QC heard how Mr Elvidge said he would argue that the CPS had not shown 'due diligence' in ensuring that all documents were available.

The judge adjourned the case to enable the CPS to respond to Mr Elvidge's concerns to be investigated and addressed.