Murder accused 'said he had stabbed man'

A FATHER accused of murder sobbed uncontrollably as he told his estranged lover he had just stabbed a man twice in the chest, a court heard.A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterday how 24-year-old Dean Martin repeatedly apologised to the mother of his little daughter less than three hours after allegedly killing Piers Westmore, 31, in Witham last December.

A FATHER accused of murder sobbed uncontrollably as he told his estranged lover he had just stabbed a man twice in the chest, a court heard.

A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterday how 24-year-old Dean Martin repeatedly apologised to the mother of his little daughter less than three hours after allegedly killing Piers Westmore, 31, in Witham last December.

Giving evidence from behind a protective screen, Vicky Vango, 26, wept as she told the court how Martin, who denies murder, called her in the early hours of December 14 crying and looking for shelter.

She told the jury of six men and six women: "He said he'd just stabbed a man in the chest and he kept saying sorry and that he loved me - he was really scared."


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The court was told that Martin, of Holly Walk, Witham, had been drinking throughout Saturday, December 13.

During the early evening he was with his father in the public bar at the Crown pub in Guithavon Street, where around 80 people were celebrating Jason Ridgewell's thirtieth birthday in a separate function room.

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Graham Parkins, QC, prosecuting, told the court that later on in the evening Martin invited himself to the party, although the host did not object.

"But then there were some minor incidents, which, in isolation, were of little significance, but undoubtedly they were the prelude to the death," Mr Parkins said.

"At about 8.45pm Martin said to Piers Westmore: 'I like you - I want to dance with you', to which Mr Westmore replied: 'You've got the wrong bloke, mate, I'm not like that.'"

The court heard that Martin's eyes seemed glazed and that he started bumping into guests to such an extent that Mr Ridgewell asked him to leave.

Martin left, but a few minutes later he returned, prompting Mr Westmore, of Osbert Road, Witham, to walk over and ask him why he had come back. Even his own father told him to go home, the court heard.

Miss Vango told the jury that during this time she had been expecting Martin for dinner at her home in Virgil Road, but at around 9.30pm she called him to tell him not to bother and went to bed.

But at around midnight, she was awoken by Martin banging loudly her front door. Fearing what could happen, she dialled 999.

His hammering also alerted neighbours who came into her house to see what was going on, but by this time Martin had gone around the back and broken in by smashing through a rear door.

He tried to grab his estranged partner's car keys, but she took them back and pleaded with him to stay. But because there were other people in the house, he left, she said.

Miss Vango, who said she still loved Martin, told the court: "A bit later he called me again and said: 'Some bloke has been having a go at me all night and he threatened to stab me.'

"He was crying and was upset that his dad didn't stick up for him. He said: 'I'm fed up with being treated like this, I can't take it any more - I'm going to get him first.'"

The court heard that shortly after this call at around 12.30am, Martin ran down Newland Street, where Mr Westmore was walking to catch a taxi, and allegedly stabbed him in the back.

The seven-inch wound pierced through Mr Westmore's lung and also his heart and he died soon after. The jury was told that although the weapon has never been found, the wounds were consistent with a long thin knife.

Martin was arrested later that Sunday.

The trial continues.

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