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Grantham woman accused of knowingly providing false information during Tony McDermott murder investigation

A woman has appeared in court accused of knowingly providing false information during the investigation into the murder of Grantham man Tony McDermott.

Julie Kavanagh, 52, is charged with doing acts intended to pervert the course of public justice between October 20, 2023 and January 31, 2024.

Ms Kavanagh, of Avenue Road, Grantham, entered a not guilty plea to the charge when she appeared at Lincoln Crown Court today (Thursday, July 4).

Tony McDermott.
Tony McDermott.

She will go on trial at Lincoln Crown Court on September 1, next year.

The trial is expected to last four days.

Judge James House KC granted Ms Kavanagh bail on condition she does not contact a number of named witnesses.

"I am adjourning your case for trial," Judge House explained. "It is fixed for September 1 next year.

"I wish it could be sooner, but it can't."

Father-of-six Tony McDermott, 38, was stabbed 51 times by Nicholas Ward at their Grantham home in October 2023.

Ward, who had been friends with Mr McDermott for 24 years, was convicted of murder and jailed for a minimum of 20 years in May this year.

Jurors heard Ward "tortured" his friend after falsely accusing him of stealing his computer.

At Lincoln Crown Court, Mr McDermott's mother told Ward: "You tortured him and left him on the floor like a dog."

Passing sentence, Judge Simon Hirst told Ward, 38, his actions had "caused profound pain and significant changes" in Mr McDermott's six children.

Judge Hirst said: "The impact has been all the greater because you were someone who was trusted by all the family, because you were Mr McDermott's good friend."

Judge Hirst initially sentenced Ward to 21 years but because he had already spent 198 days on remand the minimum term he will serve is 20 years and 167 days.

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