THREE men charged in connection with a disturbance during which gunshots were allegedly fired will face a Crown Court trial next year.

The three suspects, were charged in connection with a reported dispute on Factory Lane, Farnworth on Monday, August 3.

At 12.30pm officers had received a number of reports of the disturbance.

Armed police were among officers who attended the scene and on arrival they found that there had been a dispute involving around 20 people.

Police said shots are believed to have been fired during the incident although there were no reports of any injuries.

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Luke Price, 52, of Southworth Road, Newton-le-Willows; Rueben Price, 47, of Factory Lane, Widnes and Rueben Price Jnr, 25, of Regent Street, Newton-le-Willows, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court.

The trio have been charged with one count of violent disorder and two counts of having a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing on Thursday, September 3.

A trial date has been set for May 17, 2021.

The defendants were all given conditional bail until then.

Two other men who were previously arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and affray in connection with the disturbance have been released on conditional bail pending further enquiries.

On Tuesday, August 25, Cheshire Police secured a closure order on a pony paddock on Factory Lane which is believed to be linked to the incident.

The order, which was granted at Warrington Magistrates Court, means that no persons will be enter the site for the next three months other than to allow the tenants to tend to livestock.