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Man in court charged with murder and fraud after ex-councillor found dead

A man charged with murder and fraud in connection with the death of a former councillor in Birmingham has made his first appearance at crown court.

Sakander Hussain, 25, appeared via video link from HMP Hewell at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday in connection with the death of Wallis Webb, 65, who was found dead at a property in Baldmoor Lake Road in Erdington last week.

West Midlands Police earlier said Mr Webb’s bank card had been used after his death.

Hussain, of Ingleton Road, Birmingham, was not asked to enter any pleas during the short hearing in front of Judge Simon Drew KC and spoke only to confirm his name and that he could hear the proceedings.

Judge Drew told Hussain, who wore a grey t-shirt and jogging bottoms, he would need to appear at a plea and trial preparation hearing in April and set a provisional date for a trial, which is expected to last two to three weeks.

He said: “I am going to adjourn your case. The next hearing will be on April 22, that is the hearing at which you will be expected to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

“I am fixing your case for trial on August 5. You must attend the trial and if you fail to do so, you could face a separate offence.”

A 51-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of fraud, has been bailed with conditions while the investigation continues.

The family of Mr Webb said in a statement released through West Midlands Police over the weekend: “To try to compress a life into short sentences does not do anybody justice. This is by far the hardest of them all.

“Wallis was a councillor for a short period of time, because he really believed in trying to help others and felt strongly about the hardships people now have to endure without the help so many need.”