Not guilty plea entered but Ali Qazimaj refuses to leave prison cell for Weybread double murder hearing

Peter and Sylvia Stuart

Peter and Sylvia Stuart - Credit: Archant

A man accused of killing a Suffolk couple faces a trial next year after not guilty pleas were entered in his absence after he refused to leave his prison cell.

Ali Qazimaj, 43, was due to appear at a plea and trial preparation hearing at Ipswich Crown Court today (Friday) via a prison link from Belmarsh prison to enter his pleas to the murders of Peter Stuart, 75, and his wife Sylvia, 69, of Mill Lane, Weybread.

After being told by prison staff Qazimaj had refused to leave his prison cell, Judge John Devaux said the hearing should proceed in his absence and directed not guilty pleas to the murder charges should be entered on the court record.

Defence barrister Stephen Rose said this accorded with his instructions from the defendant, who claims his name is Vital Dapi and not Ali Qazimaj.

A further hearing of the case will take place on December 2, with a provisional trial date in front of a High Court judge on January 16.

Qazimaj, of no fixed abode but formerly of Tilbury in Essex, is currently remanded in custody and there was no bail application today.

Mr Stuart's body was found near his home on June 3. He died from multiple stab wounds.

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Mrs Stuart is still missing. However, police have said they believe she has also been murdered.

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