Murder trial: Suspect’s top ‘had just been washed’
POLICE officers who went to the home of a Great Cornard man to arrest him on suspicion of murder found that a top he had been wearing on the night of the alleged killing had recently been washed, a court has heard.
Beth Cowham, a scenes of crime officer for Suffolk police, said the Bench brand top found in the master bedroom of the home was not “dripping wet”.
“It was wet and not damp. On a scale with one being dry and 10 being wet, it was four to five,” she said.
Ms Cowham was giving evidence on the fourth day of the trial of Simon Barnes, 31, of Raydon Way, Great Cornard, and Neil Broomfield, 33, of Ballingdon Street, Sudbury, who have denied murdering 45-year-old Patrick Baker at his flat in Blackfriars, Sudbury, on April 10 last year.
It has been alleged the two defendants spent the evening of April 9 together in pubs in Sudbury before going to Mr Baker’s flat in the early hours of April 10 and beating him to death.
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The court has heard that Mr Baker suffered multiple injuries, including 10 broken ribs and fractures to his nose and upper jaw.
David Holborn, prosecuting, has claimed that Barnes and Broomfield were both seen on CCTV wearing distinctive tops on the night of the alleged killing.
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He claimed that before his arrest Barnes had washed his top to get rid of any incriminating evidence.
He alleged that fibres from the Bench top were found on “tapings” taken from a T-shirt worn by Mr Baker on the night of his death. He said a Fila tracksuit top worn by Broomfield had not been found.
“We say he disposed of it for a very obvious reason – to conceal incriminating forensic evidence as far as he is concerned.
“Why would an innocent man want to dispose of that top?” Mr Holborn asked.
The court has heard that Mr Baker, who was a drug user and involved in the supply of drugs, had a number of health problems at the time of his death.
Pc Rachel Lower told the court that when she went to arrest Barnes at his home on April 16 on suspicion of murdering Mr Baker, he said: “Murder. What murder?
“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, but you’ve got it wrong.”
The trial continues today