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Man, 22, in court accused of prison guard murder

PUBLISHED: 08:14 14 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:06 14 July 2015

Prison guard Lorraine Barwell from Romford died after being attacked outside Blackfriars Crown Court

Prison guard Lorraine Barwell from Romford died after being attacked outside Blackfriars Crown Court

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A 22-year-old man accused of murdering a custody officer was surrounded by guards at top security Belmarsh Prison when he made his first appearance at the Old Bailey by video link.

Humphrey Burke is accused of attacking 54-year-old Serco employee Lorraine Barwell, of Harold Wood, at Blackfriars Crown Court on the afternoon of Monday June 29.

Mrs Barwell was set upon as she escorted a prisoner between the court and a waiting van which was parked inside the court yard.

She died of her injuries in hospital two days later, on Wednesday July 1. A post-mortem examination found the cause to be blunt force trauma to the head.

Burke, who was last week charged with her murder, appeared subdued during the brief hearing before the Recorder of London, Nicholas Hilliard QC.

Wearing a grey tracksuit and sporting an unkempt dark beard, he spoke only to confirm his name as he slumped in a chair flanked by prison officers on both sides.

A plea and case management hearing was set for September 29 with a provisional date for an Old Bailey trial of January 4.

No application for bail was made and he was remanded in custody.

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