Trial date set for trio charged with Emsworth murder of ‘hard-working’ and ‘fiercely loyal' dad, 47

A TRIAL date has been fixed for three men charged with the murder of a 47-year-old man in Emsworth.

Joseph Butler, Tarin Hopkins, and Thomas Goldring were arrested following an investigation into the death of ‘loving’ father Stephen Harrington.

Following a pre-trial hearing on October 24, the trial is set to start on January 23 and is expected to last for three or four weeks.

Police launched the investigation after being called at about 11.10am on Saturday, July 23.

Tributes have been paid by the 'devastated' family of Stephen Harrington, 47, who died after an assault in Emsworth. Picture: Sussex Police.

The victim had been found seriously injured on land along Marlpit Lane, Woodmancote.

He was taken to hospital, where he sadly died on Monday, July 25.

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Butler, 22, of Priors Leaze Lane, Hambrook, Hopkins, 20, of Common Road, Hambrook, and Goldring, 20, of no fixed address, were charged with murder and remanded in custody.

In a statement via Sussex Police, Mr Harrington’s family said: ‘Stephen, our son, brother, husband, father, nephew, uncle, and dear friend, was taken from us in a cruel and brutal way on July 23, 2022.

‘His death has left us all devastated and heartbroken, with a hole in our lives that can never be filled.

‘Stephen was a loving, doting father that prized every moment he spent with his daughter.

‘He was hard-working and a devoted husband to his wife. Stephen’s love for his mother and sisters was unwavering and clear for all to see.

‘He loved and is loved by all his nieces, nephews, and aunties, who will always miss Uncle Steve.

‘He was a fiercely loyal and fun friend. If you ever needed him for anything, all you had to do was ask and he would be there.

‘We are all going to have to learn to live with never seeing his smile, hearing his laugh, or just spending time with him again.

‘If anyone has any information that can help get justice for Stephen, please find it in your hearts to come forward – if not for our family, do it for the kind and loving man who will never see his daughter grow up or walk her down the aisle. Do it for Stephen.’

The family have been supported by specialist officers.

Sussex police detectives are still appealing for witnesses to call 101, quoting Operation Bridport, to submit a report online, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.