A homeless man accused of murdering a mother and her teenage son has appeared in court sitting feet away from grieving family members.
Aaron Barley is charged with killing Tracey Wilkinson, 50, and her 13-year-old son Pierce at their home in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on March 30.
The 24-year-old, wearing a maroon T-shirt and flanked by five security officers, spoke only to confirm his name during a 10-minute hearing at Birmingham Crown Court.
Mrs Wilkinson’s husband Peter, who was left seriously injured after being stabbed at his home in Greyhound Lane, Norton, listened to Thursday’s proceedings from the public gallery.
His daughter Lydia, a university student who was not at the property during the stabbings, was also present in court.
Sitting around 15 feet away in the glass-panelled dock, Barley stared at the floor as he listened to legal submissions.
He was not required to enter any pleas.
Lydia’s boyfriend, her grandfather and three family friends also attended the hearing.
Judge Mark Wall QC remanded Barley in custody until a three-week trial due to begin on October 3.
Mr Wilkinson was well enough to attend his loved ones’ funeral in June this year, alongside Lydia.
Speaking at their funeral, Miss Wilkinson said her mother and younger brother had been “as close as a mother and son could be and shared a true bond of love that could never be broken”.
She told mourners at St Mary’s Church in Oldswinford, near Stourbridge, she was “so proud of my happy family”.