Man charged over Coghlan death

A man appeared in court today charged with the manslaughter of Monica Coghlan, the former prostitute at the centre of Lord Archer libel trial.

Gary Day, 32, of Moldgreen, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, has also been charged with robbery, possessing an imitation firearm and theft in connection with an alleged robbery at a chemist's in Birkby and a collision near Huddersfield last Thursday.

Ms Coghlan, 50, of Kellett Street, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was driving her Ford Fiesta car when it was involved in a collision with a Jaguar.

After the collision in New Hey Road, Ms Coghlan was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary by air ambulance, but later died from her injuries.

Dressed in a checked shirt and blue jeans, Day spoke to confirm his name and address during the nine minute hearing before magistrates in Huddersfield.

Arshad Khan, defending, made no application for bail and reporting restrictions were not lifted.

Day was remanded in custody until the next hearing at Bradford Crown Court on May 9.

Ms Coghlan gained notoriety during Jeffrey Archer's libel trial against the Daily Star newspaper in 1987 after an article appeared about the two of them.

She claimed that one of Archer's business associates met her and paid her £2,000 in September 1986.

The multi-millionaire novelist and former Tory Party deputy chairman admitted the cash hand-over had a been a "lack of judgment" but claimed he paid the money only to help Ms Coghlan escape reporters by going abroad.

Archer sued the Daily Star and its editor, Lloyd Turner, after the newspaper suggestion that he had slept with her and was awarded £500,000 in damages.

He was later charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice in connection with the case, and is awaiting trial.

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