THE trial of a man accused of murdering a popular Southampton dad is due to start today.

Scaffolder Damon Wright will appear at Winchester Crown Court as he faces trial over the murder of Kevin Wyeth in August last year.

The Woolston community was left stunned after Mr Wyeth’s badly-beaten body was found in an alleyway between Defender Road and Tankerville Road, Woolston.

A murder inquiry was launched by detectives and a widespread manhunt between Hampshire and Dorset’s police forces led them to Wright.

Wright, 31, of no fixed abode, was arrested and charged on suspicion of murdering Mr Wyeth, and subsequently pleaded not guilty during a court appearance at Winchester Crown Court in November last year.

Now Wright’s trial is due to get under way at the same court today.

It is expected to last two weeks.

As reported by the Daily Echo, 31-year-old Mr Wyeth, a father-of-three, was found in an alleyway between Defender Road and Tankerville Road, Woolston.

He was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering severe head, neck and face injuries.

It left the Woolston community in shock as floral tributes, cards, and messages of condolence were placed at the scene in the days following his death.

Detective Inspector Ellie Hurd, from Hampshire police’s major crime investigation team, led the investigation and thanked the local community for their assistance.

Groundsman Mr Wyeth’s heartbroken family told the Daily Echo how they were left numb following his death. Shortly before, he had got a job as a groundsman at the new Saints training ground.

Mr Wyeth was the second-eldest child with two younger brothers and attended Woolston Infant, Ludlow Junior and Woolston Community High School.

He remained a familiar face in Woolston despite more recently living in Weston.