A MAN has denied murdering a much-loved man who died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

Essex Police launched a murder investigation after Gordon McGhee, 52, was found dead at his ground floor flat in Forest Road, Colchester, in August.

In the days following his death, police arrested Danny Bostock, of Berberis Walk, Colchester, on suspicion of murder.

The 32-year-old appeared at Ipswich Crown Court via video link from HMP Chelmsford yesterday where he is remanded in custody.

He denied murder and an additional charge of attempted arson to Mr McGhee’s flat being reckless as to whether lives were put in danger.

It is the crown’s assertion Bostock stabbed Mr McGhee and then tried to destroy the flat after he had died.

Bostock is set to deny being in the flat at all at the time of the incident.

Judge Martyn Levett explained to Bostock how he must comply with his solicitor’s instructions in the run up to a trial date which has been listed for February 11 next year and attend scheduled court hearings even if they are done via the prison video link system.

He remains in custody until then.

In October, Bostock’s defence team said they were preparing an application for the case against him to be dismissed because of a delay in the prosecution serving evidence.

However, enough evidence has now been produced meaning the trial should go ahead as planned next year.

It is expected to last three weeks.

Neighbours were stunned in the days after the murder probe was launched with police having a heavy presence in the Greenstead estate as their investigation started.

Residents were thanked by senior detectives for their co-operation as extra officers patrolled the streets and sniffer dogs were deployed in the hunt for evidence.

An inquest into Mr McGhee’s death was opened which heard a provisional cause of death has been given as haemorrhage and multiple stab wounds including to his back and chest.

Speaking in the days after his death, Mr McGhee’s devastated family paid tribute to him as they asked for privacy and time to grieve.

In a statement they said: “Gordon was a quiet, private man who was loved very much and will be greatly missed.”