FOUR men have denied murdering Mark Noke at his Southampton home and are set to face trial next year.

Mr Noke, 64, died from a stab wound to his chest at his flat at Warburton Road, Thornhill, in February.

A plea and trial preparation hearing was held at Winchester Crown Court today.

Leighton Tabone, 23, of no fixed address, Keiran Claffey, 28, of Keynsham Road, Southampton, Justin Roach, 39, of Steep Close, Southampton,  Bradley O'Dell, 22, of Blendworth Lane, Southampton, and Aaron Morgan, 31, of no fixed address, are accused of murder, manslaughter and conspiracy to rob.

Tabone, Claffey, Roach, and O'Dell pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Aaron Morgan and fellow defendant Daniel Bull, of Valentine Avenue, Southampton, who is accused of conspiracy to rob, did not enter pleas.

Proceedings involving a seventh defendant cannot be reported for legal reasons.

The case was adjourned until September 1, when the defendants are likely to appear via video link.

The trial is due to start on January 12 next year and is expected to last up to eight weeks.