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Man facing pensioner murders trial

A man is due to go on trial accused of murdering two pensioners on consecutive days.

Leo Barnes denies murdering Cynthia Beamond and Philip Silverstone, who were found dead at their respective homes in the West Midlands and London.

The body of Mrs Beamond, 80, was found hidden inside her semi-detached house in Halesowen, near Birmingham, on June 29 last year after she was reported missing by family members.

A post-mortem examination found she died from head injuries.

Mr Silverstone was found dead on June 30 at his flat in Spencer House, Belsize Park, north west London, after concerns were raised about his welfare.

Barnes, 32, of Runcorn Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, is accused of murdering Mrs Beamond on June 27. Mr Silverstone, 67, is alleged to have been murdered on June 28.

Barnes pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder at a previous hearing.

A jury of seven women and five men is expected to hear the prosecution's opening statement at Wolverhampton Crown Court today.

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