A JURY trying an Astley man accused of stabbing another man to death has failed to reach a verdict.

After 17 hours deliberations the jury were unable to agree whether David Dempsey is guilty or not of murdering Steven Butterworth.

Judge David Aubrey, QC, discharged them and Dempsey was further remanded in custody to face a re-trial later in the year. The date for that is to be fixed on Friday.

During his trial Liverpool Crown Court heard that recently widowed Mr Butterworth, was stabbed to death at his home in Diamond Street, Leigh on August 25 last year.

He told paramedics, who found he had stab wounds to his chest and back, that someone had pushed their way into the house and stabbed him after stealing his wallet – which contained £400 in cash, his cards and driving licence – but that he did not want to make a statement.

He told his niece in hospital that he had been stabbed by the man who had come round earlier and tried to sell him a gold watch.

Mr Butterworth, aged 62, died in hospital from his injuries just over one month later on September 27.

Dempsey, of Kermishaw Nook, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

A witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claimed that he met Dempsey, who he knew by the nickname Clarkie, on the day of the killing and sold him drugs. The prosecution claim that Dempsey had used money from the robbery at Mr Butterworth's home to buy them.

The man alleged Dempsey, aged 42, admitted to him stabbing someone and he saw him take off his grey t-shirt and track suit bottoms and hide them in a bush.

Giving evidence Dempsey disputed the claims and denied stabbing Mr Butterworth and said he had not seen him on the day of the killing.