Trial date set for man charged with Sheffield city centre murder of 'shining light' Mohamed Issa Koroma
A trial date has been set for the man charged with the murder of 24-year-old Mohamed Issa Koroma, who was stabbed to death on High Street in Sheffield last Friday.
James Patrick Lee, 31, of Doncaster Road, Rotherham, appeared before The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, at Sheffield Crown Court this morning.
Appearing via video link and represented by Emma Coverley, Lee spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address. He has not yet been required to enter a plea.
With proceedings being watched by five of Mr Koroma’s bereaved family members, Ms Coverley agreed with Judge Richardson’s statements that the trial is ‘likely to be a doctors’ case’ due to the defendant’s ‘psychiatric’ background.
Prosecutor James Gelsthorpe, of the Crown Prosecution Service, Ms Coverley and Judge Richardson agreed on a trial date before bringing the hearing to a close.
A trial date was set for March 1, 2022, and is expected to last nine days.
Before that Lee will appear before the courts for a further pre-trial hearing on November 26.
Speaking to Lee at the end of the hearing to give a ‘series of warnings’, Judge Richardson said: “You are not required to plea to any indictment at all today as we are at a very early stage.
"There will be a psychiatric issue that is raised as well and we will await developments.
“You need to cooperate as fully as possible with your defence lawyers in preparation for your case.
“You are required by law to provide to court a defence statement. It is a very important document and you must cooperate fully with your lawyers in the preparation of it.”
Judge Richardson also warned Lee of how important it is that he attends his trial and not stay in his cell, saying that should he decide not to attend the trial would take place in his absence and he may not be represented.
Lee was remanded in custody until his next court date.
Police were called at around 4.30pm on Friday, September 17 to reports that a man had been stabbed on High Street.
Officers attended the scene and found Mr Koroma, a food bank volunteer who witnesses say was out shopping, seriously injured.
Despite the efforts of members of the public, police officers and paramedics, Mr Koroma was pronounced dead at around 5.15pm.
A post-mortem examination concluded Mr Koroma died as a result of the stab injuries he suffered.
He was formally identified by his family on Sunday. Relatives are currently being supported by specially trained officers.
A close friend of Mohamed's, who asked to remain anonymous, described him as a “shining light’.
They said: “He had so much ambition and so many goals he wanted to accomplish in life.
“He was a very happy soul. Even though things were going on in his life, he always pushed them to one side and focused on making other people happy.
“He never wanted to argue. He was always the peacemaker who wanted to sort out problems for everyone.
“He was a shining light who brightened up everyone else's lives.
“I can't believe he's gone. Everyone's in shock and he's missed by so many people, who have a lot of questions that they want the answers to.”