A MAN who has been charged with the murder of 20 year-old Luke Wasley following a fatal stabbing in Coleford has been told he will face trial in December.
Neil Anthony Woodley, 49, was charged on Friday, June 16 and appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates Court the following day (Saturday, June 17), where he was represented by solicitor Samir Tahir.
Woodley, of Blakes Way in Coleford, was also charged with Section 18 wounding with intent and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Those counts relate to the same date and two other men.
He then appeared before Bristol Crown Court on Monday (June 19) but did not enter any plea.
The defence was led by barrister Robin Shellard.
He was told he would face trial on December 4, and is next due in court on August 18 for a plea hearing.
Luke Walsey died following an incident in Oakfields, near Sunny Bank in the town centre, in the early hours of Wednesday, June 14.
On Thursday (June 15), his family paid tribute to him, describing him as “a funny, charming and loveable man”.
They said: "We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful boy, Luke.
“He was a loving son, brother, grandson and nephew who has been cruelly taken from us. He was a wonderful man with so much of his life still to live.
“A light has gone out in our world. He will never be replaced in our hearts.
“We’d like to thank everybody who has shown us support and would now like to ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of our Luke.”
Gloucestershire Police launched a murder investigation after emergency services were called to Oakfields at around 12.30am last Wednesday (June 14) with a report of a stabbing.
Luke was pronounced dead at the scene, while another man also suffered stab wounds and was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for treatment, before he was later discharged.
One local witness, who wishes to remain anonymous, spotted two people fighting and shouting in the Oakfields car park that night, with one person then seen fleeing the scene.
Shouts of “call and ambulance, call an ambulance” were heard, and a woman was heard screaming at around 2.30am.
Locals reported seeing a police helicopter long into the night along with multiple police vehicles on the ground.
Four men and one woman were subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday morning.
Police said it is believed that all involved were known to each other.
Oakfields was completely cordoned off by police while a forensic team carried out an investigation on Wednesday.
Police on the scene at Oakfields, Coleford, last week
There was a heightened police presence in Coleford in the days that followed while Gloucestershire Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team conducted their enquiries.
On Thursday, police announced that three people who were arrested on suspicion of Luke’s murder would be detained for an additional 36 hours, while two men would be released and face no further action.
Then on Friday, the force confirmed that Woodley had been charged with Luke's murder.
A team of police were also seen combing a corner of mown grass with rakes at the junction of Staunton Road and The Gorse that evening.
The two others that were held by police were released and will face no further action.