Diana Lee murder in Holmes Chapel: Man in court

Diana Lee
Image caption The body of Diana Lee was found at her home in Cranage after firefighters were called to a fire

A man accused of killing the owner of a luxury cattery in Cheshire has appeared in court and denied her murder.

The body of Diana Lee was found at her home in Cranage, near Holmes Chapel, in August 2012 after firefighters were called to a blaze in Byley Lane.

Ms Lee, 54, was discovered in the garage, with a post-mortem test finding she had died from head injuries.

David Ryan, 47, of Hale, Altrincham, pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Lee at Chester Crown Court.

Mr Ryan was charged with her murder in September.

Andrew Menary QC, prosecuting, said: "This has been an enormous inquiry which has generated thousands of statements, and equally thousands of items which have been sent off for forensic analysis."

Mr Menary and Duncan Bould, defending Mr Ryan, agreed both legal teams needed more time to prepare for the trial, which has been put back to a date after April.

Mr Ryan was denied bail and remains in custody.

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