Michael Chudley denies murder of solicitor James Ward

James Ward, solicitor
Image caption James Ward, 58, was principal solicitor at Morris, Goddard & Ward in Devizes

A businessman has denied murdering a solicitor who was fatally shot while he worked at a desk in his office.

Michael Chudley, 62, is alleged to have walked into the office of James Ward and shot him while he was at work in Devizes, Wiltshire, on 2 July.

Mr Chudley also denied having a sawn-off shotgun with intent to cause murder, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Father-of-three Mr Ward, from Westbury, Wiltshire, was taken to hospital but died on 22 July.

The 58-year-old, known to his friends as Jim, was the principal solicitor of Morris, Goddard & Ward legal firm in St John's Street.

Mr Chudley, originally from Rowde, Wiltshire, also denied the possession of a sawn-off shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence to Daphne Courtney and making a threat to kill Daphne Courtney.

He was remanded in custody to appear before the same court on 17 December with a trial date of 4 June 2013.

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