‘He was alive when I left’, murder suspect alleged to have told police

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

Two men and a woman accused of murdering a Colchester man were arrested in a flat after police forced their way into the property, a court has heard.

Officers who went to the flat in New Kiln Road, Colchester, following the death of 56-year-old Martin Dines knocked on the door after hearing voices inside the premises and used a ram to force entry when no-one answered the door, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Inside they found Mark Hartley, Darren Miller and Heidi Kennedy and noticed a large number of empty beer cans and wine bottles on the floor.

Pc Matthew Noone told the court that when he arrested Miller on suspicion of murdering Mr Dines he had just stared at him.

“I thought he looked quite stunned and sorry for himself,” said the officer

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He said that before entering the premises he and a colleague had stood outside an open window to the flat and heard a man and woman talking and heard the woman say: “ Darren. Darren. Why are you like this? What has caused it? Is it the army?”

The woman had then said: “Darren just remember we love you.”

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Following his arrest Miller was taken to Colchester police station and allegedly said: “He was alive when I left.”

The court has heard that Mr Dines suffered 73 wounds, including three broken ribs, before dying in St Mary’s car park, in Balkerne Hill, on April 23.

It is alleged his injuries were the result of punches, kicks and stamps inflicted by Hartley, 32, of New Kiln Road, Colchester, Miller, 46, of no fixed address and Kennedy, 47, Queen Elizabeth Way, Colchester, during a dispute about army credentials.

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

All three defendants have denied murder and Miller has admitted a less serious charge of manslaughter.

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.

A postmortem found Mr Dines was missing part of his ear and was four times the legal drink-driving limit at the time of his death

The trial continues.

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