A man accused of killing a woman in her own home is yet to put in a plea to a charge of murder, despite making his second crown court appearance in the case today (Fri Jan 20).

The outcome of a medical report to assess Alexander Charles Carr’s fitness to plead is awaited before the charge is formally put to him.

He is alleged to have killed Michelle Hanson, whose body was found by police at her address in Brady Street, Sunderland, on Saturday, December 3.

The 47-year-old grandmother had suffered multiple stab or slash-like wounds.

Read more: Alexander Carr appears in court charged with murder of Michelle Hanson

Her alleged killer was arrested in Islington, north London, on Wednesday, December 21.

He was subsequently charged with Mrs Hanson’s murder and possessing a bladed article, a hunting knife, said to have been in his possession upon his arrest.

The 33-year-old defendant, of Wilfred Street, Sunderland, made a brief appearance at Newcastle Crown Court on December 23 and was remanded to remain in custody by Judge Paul Sloan, who adjourned the case until today’s plea hearing.

He appeared at the court today by video link from Durham Prison.

Read more: Alexander Carr charged with murdering woman in Sunderland home

His counsel, Nicholas Lane, asked that the charge was not put to the defendant as a psychiatrist is to examine him and will present a report to the court as to his findings over his fitness to plead ahead of the next hearing.

Read next:

               Plea to find Alexander Carr wanted for murder of Michelle Hanson

               Sunderland manhunt: police at scene after woman found dead at house

               Sunderland woman found dead in address as investigation launched

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The judge set a timetable for various stages of submission of evidence, with the detailed defence statement to be presented to the court by March 10.

A provisional trial has already been set, should it be a contested case, with a start date of May 18, for an estimated five-day hearing.

Judge Sloan adjourned the case pending a further hearing on March 31.