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Man charged with causing 10-year-old girl’s death in alleged hit-and-run

Connor Marsden, 23, will next appear in court on October 28.


Police cars at the scene of the accident (Henry Clare/PA)

Police cars at the scene of the accident (Henry Clare/PA)

Police cars at the scene of the accident (Henry Clare/PA)

A man has appeared in court charged with causing death by dangerous driving after a 10-year-old schoolgirl died in an alleged hit-and-run.

Melissa Tate was declared dead a day after being hit by a vehicle on Hillsview Avenue in Kenton, Newcastle, at around 6.40pm on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Connor Marsden appeared at Newcastle Crown Court, sitting as a magistrates’ court, charged with causing the girl’s death by dangerous driving, as well as failure to stop.

The 23-year-old, wearing a grey sweatshirt, was not required to enter any pleas to any charges during the brief hearing.

Marsden, of Ambridge Way in Kenton, Newcastle, also faces charges of causing death by driving while uninsured, causing death by driving while not having a licence, failure to report to police following an accident, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving without insurance.


Melissa Tate (Northumbria Police/PA)

Melissa Tate (Northumbria Police/PA)

Press Association Images

Melissa Tate (Northumbria Police/PA)

Prosecutor Keith Laidlaw said all of the alleged offences relate to Wednesday’s incident.

Marsden will next appear at the court on the morning of October 28.

Remanding him in custody until then, Chair of the Magistrates Win Clayton said: “You are charged with an indictable-only offence, and that is causing death by dangerous driving.

“You will re-appear at this court, acting as a crown court sitting, and that will be on October 28 at 10am.”

Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Chris Grice said of Melissa’s death: “This is understandably a difficult time for the family and it is something that nobody should have to go through.

“Specialist officers have been supporting them since Melissa was involved in the collision on Wednesday night and they continue to do so.

“This incident has had a big impact on the community in Kenton and I know that residents will come together to support Melissa’s family.”

An online fundraising page in memory of the girl has raised more than £6,000 since it was launched following her death.

Family members have said on social media that her organs have been donated in the hope that they can help save other children.