Peter Battle murder inquiry: Search for stolen items continues as man in court
A MAN charged with murdering an antique dealer has made his first appearance in court, while police continue searching for items believed to have been stolen.
Peter Battle's body was found at his home, Whisper Cottage, in Full Sutton.
Graham Richardson, 26, has been charged with Mr Battle's murder.
Appearing in Beverley Magistrates' Court on Saturday, he also faced a charge of stealing "silver items and coins".
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Police believe Mr Battle, 56, was killed between December 29 and January 1.
It is claimed the theft happened between December 29 and January 28.
Mr Richardson, of Norton, North Yorkshire, appeared in the dock dressed in a dark blue jumper and flanked by two security guards.
He stared at the floor as the charges were read out and did not enter a plea, speaking only to confirm his name, age and address.
After hearing it was beyond the court's powers to grant bail, presiding magistrate Anne Farnsworth ordered Mr Richardson be remanded in custody.
He let out a sigh on hearing the news.
Mr Richardson was questioned by detectives for five days before being charged on Friday night.
His arrest in Malton on Monday last week followed a search by more than 100 officers in Mr Battle's village.
Police say they are still searching for an Advent 2000 laptop thought to be missing from Mr Battle's home.
Detective Chief Inspector Alistair McFarlane, senior investigating officer in the case, said: "We have charged Graham Richardson with Mr Battle's murder but we are continuing our investigation and part of those inquiries centre on items of property we believe to have been stolen from his home.
"I would appeal to anyone who thinks they may have information about this laptop or who thinks they may have seen it in the last couple of months to contact the Major Incident Room."
Mr Battle's family were not present in court but Det Chief Insp McFarlane said they had been contacted by police.
He said: "We have officers liaising with the family and informing them as soon as there are any updates."
Mr Richardson, who is receiving legal aid, was represented by Harry Bayman, of York solicitors Sykes, Lee and Brydson.
The Crown Prosecution Service was represented by solicitor Alex Quigley.
Mr Richardson will appear at Hull Crown Court by video-link on Wednesday.
Anyone with information about the laptop should call the Major Incident Room on 01377 208989 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.