Colchester woman denies being involved in attack on homeless man

Martin Dines, 56, from Colchester, was found dead on Monday, April 23. Picture: PROVIDED BY FAMILY

Martin Dines, 56, from Colchester, was found dead on Monday, April 23. Picture: PROVIDED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

A woman accused of murdering a homeless Colchester man whose badly beaten body was found in a car park stairwell has denied being involved in the attack.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court, Heidi Kennedy blamed 46-year-old Darren Miller and 32-year-old Mark Hartley for Martin Dines’ fatal injuries and broke down in tears as she described the “disgusting” attack on him.

Kennedy, 47, told the court that Miller had wanted to go looking for Mr Dines after an earlier argument in which Mr Dines had called Hartley “a fake para”.

She had been with Miller and Hartley when they found Mr Dines sitting in a stairwell in St Mary’s car park in Balkerne Hill with blood on his face from two earlier alleged attacks.

Kennedy described Miller grabbing Mr Dines by the neck and repeatedly kicking and punching him.

She claimed Miller had bitten Mr Dines’ ear lobe off and tried to make him swallow it and had also caused horrific injuries to Mr Dines’ genitals by “punching, pulling and twisting.”

“He didn’t deserve to die. It was bloody disgusting what he (Miller) did,” said Kennedy.

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She alleged that Miller, who was wearing army style boots, had also repeatedly stamped on the side of Mr Dines’ neck.

She said Hartley had kicked and punched Mr Dines but she denied playing any part in the attack and said she had been too scared to intervene or to leave.

Asked by Brian O’Neill, for Miller, if drink caused her to change from being “shy and retiring to little miss invincible who believed she could take on the world” Kennedy replied: “It’s a bit of bravado.”

Kennedy, of Queen Elizabeth Way, Colchester, Hartley, of New Kiln Road, Colchester, and Miller, of no fixed address, have all denied murdering Mr Dines on April 23.

Miller has admitted a less serious charge of manslaughter.

It has been alleged that Mr Dines, 56, died as a result of punches, kicks and stamps inflicted by Hartley, Miller and Kennedy during an argument about army credentials.

Simon Spence, prosecuting, claimed Mr Dines was left to die after being beaten on three occasions, on the night in question.

The first two attacks allegedly happened in Head Street and Crouch Street with the final alleged attack taking place in St Mary’s car park.

The trial continues.

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