A PRISONER has denied plotting to have his estranged wife and her friend murdered while he was locked up.

Andrew McGarry, aged 39, pleaded not guilty to two counts of soliciting to commit murder and three counts of encouraging or assisting the commission of offences believing one or more crimes will be committed.

McGarry, who used to live in Horwich, is alleged to have solicited, encouraged, persuaded or proposed to others to murder Heather McGarry, his estranged wife, and her friend Andrea Leighton between February 1 and June 10 last year.

He is also alleged to have encouraged or assisted the commission of crimes between February 1 and 10, 2013, by providing maps with names, addresses and directions to Colin Brady, Michael Jefferson and James Place.

McGarry is currently serving a sentence at Wymott Prison in Ulnes Walton Lane, Leyland, Lancashire, a class C prison.

A trial date has been set for November 6.