Trial date set for man accused over child's river death

Emma Blood with her son Zakari William Bennett-Eko
Emma Blood with her son Zakari William Bennett-Eko
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A provisional trial date has been set for a man accused of murdering his 11-month-old son, who was pulled out of a river.

Zakari William Bennett-Eko was retrieved from the River Irwell in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, after reports that a child was in the water on Wednesday afternoon.

He was taken to hospital from the scene near Blackburn Street in the town centre, but died a short time later.

On Monday, Zak Bennett-Eko made a brief appearance at Manchester Crown Court via prison videolink when a trial date of March 9 was scheduled.

Judge David Stockdale QC, the Honorary Recorder of Manchester, ordered that the defendant attend in person from custody when he is next due at court on December 20 for a plea hearing.

Bennett-Eko, of no fixed address, spoke to confirm his name and date of birth, and stated his nationality is mixed race British.