Murder accused can't explain how his fingerprint was found in victim's blood, court hears (From The Northern Echo)
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Middlesbrough murder accused can't explain how his fingerprint was found in victim's blood, court hears
A MAN admitted that his thumb print had been discovered in blood found on a piece of plastic in a murder victim’s home, a court heard.
John Coates was found bludgeoned to death in his flat last September after he had not been seen several days.
Robert Baker was unable to unable to explain how his fingerprint was uncovered in Mr Coates’ flat during the investigation into the shop worker’s death.
Nicholas Lumley, cross examining the defendant, asked: “How did your thumb print get in his flat?” He simply replied: “I have no idea.”
The 24-year-old defendant told Teesside Crown Court he had only ever stepped a couple of feet inside the victim’s home and played no part in the clean-up of the flat following the brutal attack.
During the defendant’s evidence in chief, the jury heard that CCTV footage of Mr Baker showed him carrying bags from Fleet House, on Cargo Fleet Lane, Middlesbrough, where the defendant and Mr Coates both lived, were filled with goods taken from the victim’s flat.
However, Mr Baker said the bags were filled with stolen DVD and Blu Ray players that he was looking after for one of his drug dealers and was returning them.
When asked the identity of the man, he declined to answer saying: “I’m sort of scared of being a grass.”
Explaining how he came to be in possession of Mr Coates’ Xbox console, games and a tablet computer, Mr Baker said he bought the games console at North Ormesby Market and the tablet from another dealer friend.
During cross examination, Mr Baker confirmed he was left handed.
Mr Lumley said: “There’s a very large bruise to the right of Mr Coates’ face, just where a left-handed person would connect if they hit someone full in the face. Is that what you did?” The defendant replied: “No.”
He continued: “Then you reached for whatever you could find, a hammer or large metal object, and then you hit him and hit him and hit him and you left him for dead, didn’t you?”
Again the defendant replied 'no'.
The trial continues.
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