A 63-year-old father-of-three is to stand trial for the 1984 murder of teenager Melanie Roads. The 17-year-old A-level student was sexually assaulted and died from multiple stab wounds to her chest and back after a night out with friends in Bath.
Wearing a grey T-shirt and glasses, Christopher John Hampton appeared at Bristol Crown Court via video-link from HMP Bristol on Friday 28 August. Family members of Melanie and Hampton were present in the public gallery.
Hampton, from Fishponds, Bristol, was arrested on 2 July and charged two days later. His High Court trial will start on 9 May 2016.
Recorder Judge Neil Ford QC said: "This is a case which concerned a truly tragic killing as long ago as the middle of 1984. This case is brought as a result of DNA techniques and even at this stage there are further items that will be subjected to DNA testing.
"There is a vast amount of material in this case because of the original investigation and there have been reviews in the mid-1990s and in 2009, all of which generated further material. The investigation goes back to a time when records were kept on cards as opposed to on computer."
Speaking to Hampton, the judge said: "This case is now fixed for trial on 9 May and there will be a further review of the case on 22 December. In the meantime, you will be remanded into custody."
On 8 June 1984, Melanie had gone out with friends to the Beau Nash nightclub in Kingston Parade. She left the venue at 1:30am on 9 June 1984 and was last seen alive a short while later in Broad Street.