Jealous man denies caravan park murder

A LANDSCAPE gardener died after being stabbed in the heart during a late night confrontation at an Essex caravan park, it has been alleged.

Jane Hunt

A LANDSCAPE gardener died after being stabbed in the heart during a late night confrontation at an Essex caravan park, it has been alleged.

Barry Lane, 28 was fatally wounded at Highfields Holiday Park in Clacton after 32-year-old Rickie Rowley went to the caravan park looking for his former partner, a retrial at Ipswich Crown Court has heard.

On the night of the killing Rowley was allegedly driven by a “deep jealousy” at the thought that his former partner Emma Banks might be with another man.

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After spending the evening with friends Rowley had started trying to find Miss Banks and had gone to Highfields Holiday Park with two other men.

John Dodd, prosecuting, told the court that Miss Banks was a friend of Mr Lane's partner Beverley Crick and had been out with her on the night of August 26, 2006.

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Mr Lane and Miss Crick had been living temporarily in a caravan at the holiday park after their flat in Skelmersdale Road, Clacton, was flooded.

Miss Crick and Miss Banks had returned to the caravan in the early hours of August 27and had met up there with Mr Lane and some of his friends.

Mr Dodd alleged that meanwhile Rowley had been working himself up into a rage and fuelled by drink and jealousy had set about trying to locate Miss Banks.

He had made a number of telephone calls to Miss Banks and had also called Miss Crick and left a message threatening to “cut” her and Mr Lane, alleged Mr Dodd.

After going to Miss Banks home in Clacton and discovering she wasn't there Rowley had gone to Mr Lane's caravan at Highfields Holiday Park with 19-year-old Sean Luscombe and 22-year-old Richard East.

On their arrival Miss Banks had gone outside and after hearing her shouting Mr Lane had left the caravan to go to her aid.

Mr Dodd alleged that Mr Lane became involved in a fight with Rowley and Luscombe during which Luscombe was seen brandishing a knife.

Mr Dodd alleged that Luscombe had stabbed Mr Lane once through the heart and described it as a “savage and deliberate blow”.

He said that although Rowley had not inflicted the fatal stab wound he was part of a joint enterprise.

Mr Dodd described Rowley as the “leader and instigator” on the night in question and said: “If Rickie Rowley hadn't gone to the caravan park on that August Bank Holiday you can be sure that neither Sean Luscombe or Richard East would have gone there.”

Rowley, of no fixed address, has denied murdering Mr Lane.

Mr Dodd told the court that the current trial was a retrial. He told the jury that Luscombe, who was living at Melbourne Road, Clacton, had been convicted of Mr Lane's murder at an earlier trial and East, who was living at Manchester Road, Clacton, had been convicted of affray and possessing an offensive weapon.

The trial continues today (Wed).

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