A 38-YEAR-OLD man has appeared before Blackburn magistrates charged with the murder of retired lecturer Christopher Proctor, 88.

Anthony Michael Curry, of Dyson Street, Blackburn is also charged with arson at Mr Proctor’s home in Pleckgate Road, burglary at the same address and theft of two bank cards. He was sent in custody to Preston Crown Court.

Clare Joanne Randall, 30, also of Dyson Street, appeared with him jointly charged with the theft matter. She was granted bail by the magistrates but prosecutor Catherine Allan lodged an immediate appeal against the decision which means Randall will remain in custody until her bail application is heard by a Judge at the Crown Court.

Mr Proctor was found dead in the burned out remains of his home on November 10.