A MAN has appeared in court charged with murder following the death of 54-year-old Andrew O’Connell.
Sergio Lemori appeared before Lewes Crown Court today where he pleaded not guilty to murder.
Mr O’Connell, from Kent, sustained a serious assault at Royal Pavilion Gardens in Brighton at around 11.55pm on Tuesday, August 7.
The victim, who was rough sleeping at the time of the incident, was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
At the weekend Mr O’Connell’s family paid tribute to him, describing him as a ‘free spirit’.
Lemori, 32, of no fixed address, was arrested in Church Street, close to the scene of the assault, shortly before 9pm on Wednesday, August 8.
Following his plea today, he remains remanded in custody ahead of a pre-trial hearing on October 29.
A trial date has been set for January 21, 2019.
Police are not currently seeking anyone else in connection with the incident, however anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Dickenson.
Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.