THREE men and a boy have pleaded not guilty to the hit-and-run murder of Blackburn mum Alison McBlain.

Dean Tarim Qayum and a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, appeared in the dock at Preston Crown Court this morning, while their co-accused Kaylib Connolly and Jon Paul Chatwood appeared over a video link from Preston Prison.

Qayum, 20, of Patterdale Avenue, Blackburn, Connolly, 18, of Ivy Street, Blackburn, Chatwood, 25, of Walsh Street, Blackburn, also deny attempting to murder Christian Rivers.

Judge Mark Brown, The Recorder of Preston, was played CCTV of the incident in which Ms McBlain and Mr Rivers were struck by a Fiat Punto which mounted pavement in King Street, Blackburn, at the junction of Pearson Street at about 8pm on November 19. Miss McBlain was taken to hospital but died two days later.

Prosecuting, Ian Unsworth QC said both Ms McBlain and Mr Rivers were “skittled over” and the deceased was carried some distance after being struck.

Mr Unsworth said: “Struck as she was Ms McBlain didn’t stand a chance, Mr Rivers was extremely fortunate not to have been more seriously injured.”

Prosecuting at an earlier hearing, Andy Robinson said the incident was related to a drug deal.

Qayum, Connolly, and Chatwood were remanded into custody, while the youth was remanded to the council’s care.

A trial date has been set for May 26.