Sudbury: Fatal beating denied by murder accused

A SUFFOLK man whose badly beaten body was found in a pool of blood in his flat had suffered 10 broken ribs and fractures to his nose and jaw, a court has heard.

Police forced entry to 45-year-old Patrick Baker’s flat in Blackfriars, Sudbury, after a worried friend raised the alarm and found him lying face down on his bedroom floor, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

David Holborn, prosecuting, said unemployed Mr Baker, who lived alone and had a number of health problems, had been given “a pretty thorough beating”.

The court heard that a post-mortem examination found he had suffered multiple blunt- force injuries to his face, head and trunk and he had 10 broken ribs and fractures to his nose and upper jaw.

Before the court are Simon Barnes, 31, of Raydon Way, Great Cornard, and Neil Broomfield, 33, of Ballingdon Street, Sudbury, who have both denied murdering Mr Baker on April 10 last year.

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Mr Holborn claimed that on April 9 the two defendants had spent the evening together in pubs in Sudbury before allegedly going to Mr Baker’s flat in the early hours of the following day and beating him to death.

He alleged that both defendants were seen on CCTV wearing distinctive clothing on the night in question. Broomfield had a Fila tracksuit top which had never been found. “We say he disposed of it for a very obvious reason – to conceal incriminating forensic evidence. Why would an innocent man want to dispose of that top?” said Mr Holborn.

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Barnes had been wearing a Bench top on the night of Mr Baker’s death and when police went to arrest him it took 15 minutes for him to let them in and they then found the top soaking wet on a clothes drier. “In common with Broomfield, Barnes was trying to conceal incriminating evidence,” alleged Mr Holborn.

He also claimed that a mix of Mr Baker’s and Broomfield’s blood was found in Mr Baker’s kitchen and Broomfield’s blood was also allegedly found on the badly torn T-shirt Mr Baker was wearing.

He claimed that a DNA match with Mr Baker was found on one of Barnes’ training shoes and fibres from his top were found on tapings taken from Mr Baker’s T-shirt.

Mr Holborn told the court that at the time of the alleged murder Broomfield had been sharing a flat at The Foyer in Sudbury with a man called Paul Vittles and Broomfield had told police after his arrest that he had been introduced to Mr Baker by his flat-mate.

Mr Holborn said the prosecution was not able to say “one way or the other” if Mr Vittles had any involvement in Mr Baker’s death.

He told the court that Mr Baker had been a drug user and had a number of health problems. “The cause of his death may be an issue in this case,” he told the jury.

Mr Holborn said that in April last year Mr Baker had been on a rehabilitation programme to get him off heroin and it was probable he had been involved in the supply of drugs to other people.

Mr Holborn said that after their arrests Barnes and Broomfield had denied any involvement in Mr Baker’s murder.

The trial, which is expected to last three to four weeks, continues today,

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