Leeds murder accused weeps in court

A MAN has appeared in court charged with the murder of his 17-year-old partner at her home in Leeds.

Sophie Smith

Morgan Banks, 18, appeared before Leeds Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning over the death of Sophie Smith.

Ms Smith was found injured at a flat in a house at Tempest Road, Beeston, in the early hours of Friday.

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Ms Smith had given birth to a son five weeks before the incident.

Banks sobbed in the dock of the court throughout the brief hearing.

Wearing grey jogging bottoms and a grey sweater, he was accompanied by two dock officers. Banks spoke to confirm his name and date of birth. When asked his address he replied: “I haven’t got one.”

Banks then confirmed his address had been Whitfield Square, Hunslet, Leeds, when asked by the court clerk.

Prosecutor Clint Chambers said Ms Smith had been the defendant’s partner.

Mr Chambers said paramedics had been called to the property on Tempest Road after Ms Smith was found injured but she was declared dead a short time later. The prosecutor said a post mortem examination had confirmed that she had died of her injuries.

No pleas were entered to the murder charge.

Deputy District Judge Marshall committed the case to Leeds Crown Court, where Banks will appear on Wednesday.

Banks was told he will be remanded in custody until the next court hearing. His solicitor, Stuart Paige, made no application for bail.

Tributes to Ms Smith were paid on social media after news of Ms Smith’s death broke.

One wrote: “I cannot believe you’re gone Sophie, it doesn’t seem real at all.. rest in paradise my long lost best friend/sister, you will never be forgotten.”

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