A TRIAL date has been set for a Ramsbottom man accused of attempting to murder a 34-year-old in a Blackburn street.

Christopher Foster, 37, appeared at Preston Crown Court over a video link from the city’s prison accused of attempting to murder Stephen Parsonage in Snowden Avenue, on May 5.

Mr Parsonage, who is from Blackburn, was struck by a Vauxhall Movano van and then attacked with a knife shortly before 5.15am.

He suffered what detectives described as significant injuries to his leg.

Foster, of Holt Street West, Ramsbottom, was arrested in relation to that incident near Horwich and later charged with attempted murder, dangerous driving and possession of a bladed article.

Appearing before Judge Robert Altham, Foster spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and British nationality.

Defending, Imran Shafi asked for his client not to be arraigned because he hadn’t been able to speak to him because of difficulties arranging legal conferences at Preston Prison in the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

He also said video footage relating to the incident was yet to be served on the defence.

The courtroom was cleared for five minutes so Mr Shafi could have an introductory meeting with Foster over the video link.

Setting out his client’s position, Mr Shafi said: “It’s likely to be a factual matter.”

A trial, with an estimate of three days, was listed for October 19.

An arraignment hearing, when Foster will be asked if he intends to plead guilty or not guilty, will take place on August 20.

Addressing Foster on the delays in the hearing, Judge Altham said: “All of us understand that is far from satisfactory for you.

"I understand that it is very difficult to be in custody at the moment, particularly in custody when you’re awaiting trial because normally you would have access to your lawyers.

“I understand there will be a tremendous sense of isolation when you’re not getting access to legal advice that you normally would.

"I have absolutely no doubt that your defence solicitors and counsel will be doing everything that they can but it is difficult and they are facing the same problems that everybody is.”

Foster was remanded back into custody until the next hearing at Preston Crown Court in August.