A NEW trial date has been set in the murder case of Blackburn mother-of-one Alison McBlain.

It had been due to start on May 26 but has now been moved as courts continue not to hold trials during the current coronavirus pandemic.

The trial, which is due to last up to six weeks, will now take place on November 9 at Preston Crown Court.

Judge Mark Brown, the Recorder of Preston, was previously played CCTV of the incident in which Ms McBlain and Christian Rivers were struck by a Fiat Punto which mounted the 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.

Six people have been charged in connection with the investigation.

Joshua Titterington, 26, of Scotland Bank Terrace, Blackburn; Dean Tarim Qayum, 20, of Patterdale Avenue, Blackburn; a 16-year-old boy; Kaylib Connolly, 18, of Ivy Street, Blackburn; and Paul Chatwood, 25, of Walsh Street, Blackburn, have already denied murdering Ms McBlain and attempting to murder Mr Rivers.

Karis Poynton, 27, of Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors, has not yet been arraigned, but all six defendants will be asked to enter their pleas to a new joined-up indictment – featuring the same charges – at a pre-trial review hearing on October 5.

A trial judge has not been appointed but Judge Brown said it was likely to be a High Court Judge or the new Recorder of Preston.

The court heard Poynton was intending to apply for bail in the interim. The youth is still remanded in the council’s care, while the other five defendants are remanded in custody.

Last month police were searching an area of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal close to the junction of Bolton Road and Infirmary Road in Blackburn as part of the murder inquiry.