Blood of man beaten to death found on clothing of accused, court told

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

The blood of a Colchester rough sleeper was found on the clothing and footwear of two men and a woman accused of murdering him, a court has heard.

Forensic scientist Judith Cunnison said blood matching the DNA profile of Martin Dines, whose badly beaten body was found in St Mary’s multi-storey car park in Balkerne Hill, Colchester, was present on trainers, a jacket and jeans worn by 32-year-old Mark Hartley and boots, jogging bottoms and an army-style jumper worn by co-defendant Darren Miller.

Mrs Cunnison told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court the blood staining showed both men had been in extensive contact with Mr Dines’ wet blood and had been close to impacts into his wet blood.

She said in her opinion the distribution and pattern of the staining was typical of an assault including kicking, punching and stamping.

Mr Dines’ blood was also found on sandals and a bodysuit worn by a third defendant - Heidi Kennedy - but was less than on Hartley and Miller’s items.

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Mrs Cunnison said the stains on those items showed she had come into contact with Mr Dines’ wet blood and was close to impacts into it, although in her opinion it was not sufficiently typical of stamping or kicking.

Mrs Cunnison said blood staining found in the small landing where Mr Dines died showed he suffered a sustained attack.

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She described a substantial amount of blood staining the floor and the walls up to window height.

Miller, 46, of no fixed address, Hartley, of New Kiln Road, Colchester, and Kennedy, 47, of Queen Elizabeth Way, Colchester, have all denied murdering Mr Dines on April 23.

Miller has admitted manslaughter.

It is alleged Mr Dines, 56, died as from 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 while the third was in St Mary’s car park.

A witness allegedly heard Hartley accuse Mr Dines of being “a false para”.

The trial continues.

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