A GATHERING outside Carlisle Crown Court today prompted the judge in the Lee McKnight murder trial to remind the jury to "do justice" impartially for everyone in the case.

As the trial resumed, The Honourable Mr Justice Nicholas Hilliard issued the reminder to the jury after he was made aware that "a number of people" had gathered outside the court.

They were calling for "justice for Lee McKnight."

The judge told the jury: "It has been drawn to my attention that a number of people were outside the court this morning, protesting - if that's the right word - for justice for Lee McKnight.

"It's a free country - but there are two things to be said about that.

"If you see or hear anything like that you must, if you think about it for a moment, remind yourself straight away that you are here to do justice - quite impartially - for everyone.

"So there has to be justice - it needs to be your first thought - for Jamie Davison, Arron Graham, Jamie Lee Roberts, Paul Roberts Coral Edgar and Carol Edgar...You are here to do justice for everyone."

The judge said he did not want jurors to be distressed or anxious in any way and he had asked for "steps" to be taken to ensure they were not troubled.

Anything that has that effect risks being a contempt of court, warned the judge.

The six defendants all deny murder.

Mr McKnight's body was found 'dumped' in the River Caldew on the morning July 24, on farmland south of Carlisle.

The prosecution say that the 26-year-old was beaten 'to the point of death' in a house in Charles Street, Carlisle, by Davison, 26, Arron Graham, 25, and 18-year-old Jamie Lee Roberts before then being thrown - still alive - into the river.

Carol Edgar, 46, (The mother of Coral Edgar) and Paul Roberts, 51, (the father of Jamie Lee Roberts) are alleged to have helped the attackers after Mr McKnight was beaten up.

Coral Edgar, 26, is accused of "luring" Mr McKnight to the home in Charles Street where she lived with her mother and where, say the prosecution, he was beaten up.

The trial continues.