Trial date set for Derbyshire dad accused of murdering estranged wife and 48-year-old man

The trial of a Derbyshire father-of-three accused of killing his estranged wife and a 48-year-old man is set to take place later this year.

By Andy. Done-Johnson
Monday, 6th January 2020, 2:07 pm
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 2:17 pm

Rhys Hancock, 39, of Portland Street, Etwall, Derbyshire, appeared before Derby Crown Court on Monday, January 6 after being charged with murdering Helen Hancock, 39, and Martin Griffiths, 48.They were found dead at an address in New Zealand Lane, Duffield in the early hours of Wednesday, January 1..Dressed in an immaculate dark suit, white shirt and pastel pink tie, Hancock spoke only to confirm his name at the plea and trial preparation hearing, and no plea was formally entered.The trial has been listed to begin on August 24 and is expected to last for at least two weeks.The case will next be listed on Friday, February 28, when both defence and prosecution are expected to present medical reports in order for it to be progressed to trial.Hancock, formerly of New Zealand Lane, Duffield, will be remanded into custody until his trial date and no application for bail was made.He previously appeared at Derby Magistrates’ Court on FridayMrs Hancock, whose maiden name was Almey, and Mr Griffiths, from Derby, were found dead at the house at about 4am on New Year’s Day.The family of Mrs Hancock, described her as a "lovely, beautiful, friendly, bubbly and social person".Mr Griffiths, a father-of-two from Derby, was said by his family to be "a lovely dad, husband, son, brother and uncle who had a passion for adventure, running and a love of animals".The statement added: "He enjoyed travelling the world, mountain climbing and spending time with his two children. He will be greatly missed."Ch Supt Hayley Barnett, of Derbyshire Police, said: "The thoughts of everyone at Derbyshire Constabulary are with the family and friends of Mrs Hancock and Mr Griffiths."Our thoughts are also with the Duffield community, which is understandably shocked by this incident."Derbyshire Police has referred itself to the police watchdog over previous contact with Mrs Hancock.The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed it was investigating police contact with Mrs Hancock before her death.

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Martin Griffiths and Helen Hancock