DETAILS of how a murder re-trial will work under the coronavirus restrictions have been laid out in court.

On Tuesday, Mrs Amanda Justice Yip along with defence and prosecution counsels, told Preston Crown Court how the re-trial into the murder of Lindsay Birbeck would run.

The hearing will be split across three courtrooms to safely accommodate all those who will be attending, and allowing the defendant to appear in court via videolink.

The original trial into Mrs Birbeck’s murder began in February, but on March 10, following almost two weeks of proceedings at Preston Crown Court, Mrs Justice Yip agreed to a re-trial after an application to discharge the jury was made.

A date of June 15 was set for the second hearing but due to the coronavirus crisis, the trial was adjourned until August 3, almost a year to the day that Mrs Birbeck went missing.

In preparation for the trial, in which a 17-year-old boy stands accused of Mrs Birbeck’s murder, family of both the defendant and Mrs Birbeck, members of the public, members of the press, and representatives from the youth offending team as well as junior counsel will be split between two different courtrooms.

They will be connected by a live link to a third courtroom, which will seat the jury, judge, prosecution and defence barristers, and be used for witness evidence, to ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons will appear in part via videolink from HMP Wetherby, where he has been on remand since last year.

Mrs Justice Yip said it would be beneficial for the teenager to be present on the first day of the trial and observe the remainder from HMP Wetherby.

She said: “This would then be reviewed and if he wants he can come to court and if he understands everything he can stay at Wetherby.

“It must be noted that this is an attended court hearing and we are only extending the court over three rooms because of the restrictions with space.”

Mrs Birbeck, a mother-of-two from Huncoat, went missing on August 12 last year.

Her body was found in Accrington Cemetery on August 24, 12 days after she disappeared.

Police launched a missing persons appeal and extensive searches of the areas close to Burnley Road, where Mrs Birbeck lived, were carried out by officers andthe local community.

On August 27, a 16-year-old boy was arrested in connection with Mrs Birbeck’s disappearance and on August 31, detectives charged the teenager with her murder.

The boy, now 17, denies killing the 47-year-old.

Reporting restrictions were put in place surrounding the jury’s discharge and for legal reasons, these cannot be published.

The re-trial, beginning on August 3, is expected to last for two weeks.