Shropshire Star

Plea hearing date set for man accused of murdering church warden

The case was heard before Bristol Crown Court on Friday morning.

Beryl Purdy

A plea hearing will take place next month for a 36-year-old man charged with murdering a church warden at her home.

David Parish, of Halyard Drive, Bridgwater, is accused of murdering Beryl Purdy, 86, in Broomfield, near Bridgwater, Somerset, on March 27.

Police were called to reports of a burglary in progress at Mrs Purdy’s home at about 5.45pm. She was found seriously injured and died at the property.

Parish was arrested and initially sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

He was charged with murder after being released from a mental health unit on Tuesday.

He appeared before Taunton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and his case was heard at Bristol Crown Court on Friday.

Judge Peter Blair KC, the Recorder of Bristol, said: “I direct that he be remanded in custody.

“There will be a plea and trial preparation hearing on October 20.”

Parish, who is currently in Exeter Prison, did not attend the short hearing.

In a statement issued after her death, Mrs Purdy’s family said they were “devastated to have lost a dearly loved wife, mother and granny”.

They said: “Bez was a caring person who would help anyone in need and was very much part of the village, being a church warden for 20 years.

“We will miss her very much and we are all struggling to understand why this happened to such a lovely person.”

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