A MAN has appeared in court this morning to deny murdering Hampshire pensioner Delia Hughes.

Jamie Boult was flanked by four security guards as he was brought into the dock at Winchester Crown Court.

The 24 year old faces six charges, four of which relate to the death of 85-year-old Delia at her flat in Atlantic Close, Ocean Village, Southampton.

Delia's body was found on August 18 by her daughter and son-in-law when they visited her ground floor flat because they were concerned they couldn't contact her.

Bearded Boult, of Chessel Crescent, Bitterne, is accused of going equipped with a lump hammer used to inflict the fatal blows and carrying out a burglary in which her allegedly stole jewellery from the property and murdered the great-grandmother in her bedroom.

He is also charged with aggravated burglary at a house in the road where he lives on August 14 in which he is said to have stolen Xbox games, a guitar, two pairs of sunglasses, prescription glasses, jewellery, gloves and a jacket. On that occasion he is said to have been armed with an offensive weapon, namely an axe.

He denies all the charges.

A trial date has been set for June 24. It is set to last for one week.