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"Body in a suitcase" murder trial - day seven
This live event has finished
- Three people are accused of murdering Boscombe man Geoffrey Reed.
- Stuart Raymond Wareham, 26, of Cecil Road, Boscombe, Benjamin Henry Walter, 22, and Lee Raymond Wareham, 33, both of no fixed address, are accused of murdering Mr Reed, 57, in Bournemouth between June 6 and June 14 last year
- Mr Reed,a convicted sex offender, went missing from his flat in Cecil Road. His remains were discovered in an area of woodland off Huntick Road, Lytchett Matravers, north of Poole.
- Timothy Mousley QC and Simon Jones prosecute.
- Stuart Wareham is represented by Ian Lawrie QC and Timothy Bradbury.
- Lee Wareham is represented by Oba Nsugbe QC and Rebecca Fairbairn.
- Benjamin Walter is represented by David Mason QC and Andrew Baker.
That's all for the day- court resumes at 10.30am tomorrow
Reference in letter to Benjamin about them planning Mr Reed's murder "time and time again" - he says this was all a joke but thought it could be incriminating
Stuart wrote around 1,000 letters from prison to his mum, nan, sister, Benjamin and others. He has been in prison for nine months now. He apologised for "the shame I've caused them, the heartache". "I caused them a lot of emotional pain and stress and worry," he said.
"I didn't want to lose my friends and family so I need to try and stay out of prison," he said
Stuart admitting he lied to police in interview including about burying a dead dog and believing Mr Reed would be back from Weymouth soon. He said "I was scared if what would happen and it's easier - everything I was saying did have aspects of truth behind it"
He said when he was arrested he felt "scared." While in detention cell he could shouted out "have you got rid of those drugs mate" as a joke
A second text on phone to a friend of his about puppies. The next day he sent a text to Mr Reed to say "ight mush how's things mate?" Stuart said "I don't know why I sent it." He says he knew Mr Reed was dead when he sent it
Stuart is being asked about a message out on his Facebook on June 9. He changed his status to "everyone has a dark side, do you love me, do you love mine". He said he was listening to a Kelly Clarkson song and this is a lyric from that
Defence now asking about taking Mr Reed's body to Lytchett and how Stuart felt. Stuart said he was "upset and shocked". After the body was buried they returned to boscombe. Asking about conversation with Daniel about the body. Stuart said "he asked me what is done with the body so I told him I'd buried it at my nan's farm." He denies talking about killing Mr Reed and "putting a screwdriver in his head"
We're taking a short break- back soon
Stuart said he did not kick, stamp or jump on Mr Reed. He says "I believe I might have caused the injuries to his face" but denies anything more than that
They put Mr Reed into the suitcase and asked Stuart's sister Kelly for a lift to his grandmother's farm to bury him. Stuart said this was his idea. He said "I was upset, shocked, quite emotional" about Mr Reed's death but said "we had to get rid of the body basically"
When Benjamin came back into the flat the three thought about how to get rid of the body. Suggestions include putting him in a bit of carpet and throwing it off the end of the pier. But Stuart said "Daniel had come back by this point and he said about putting him in the suitcase". Just a reminder- Daniel is not on trial for anything and has not been accused of anything
Now some talk about Benjamin leaving wearing Mr Reed's clothes to make it look like he was going on holiday. Benjamin walked around the block and cane in through the bedroom window. Stuart and Lee cleaned the flat in the meantime
Mr Reed was put in the suitcase after the neighbour's visit. Defence now asking about Daniel leaving the flat with some DVDs, including some belonging to Mr Reed, in a bag that he sold to Cash Generators
They then moved the body behind the sofa after the attempt to conceal it under the bath fails. An upstairs neighbour then knocked on the door and Stuart answered
He said he and Lee moved the body from the kitchen to the bathroom. They tried unscrewing a panel on the bath to hide the body there. "I knew that if I didn't try and help them I'd be in trouble" he said. "I hit him- it makes me involved."
"From looking at him and the amount of blood that was everywhere I assumed he was dead" he says. Stuart said he couldn't find a pulse and panicked - "I didn't know what to do".
He said he heard Daniel say "I think he's dead, there's blood everywhere" when he turned round to see what was going on
He said there was "Blood on the side of the door, blood on the off bit if carpet there by the fridge and cooker, blood on the front of the fridge". He said he was in shock for "a fair amount of time"
He turned around after the banging because there was "all silence". He says as he turned round "there was blood everywhere"
He said he could hear "thumping sounds" which he thought must be Mr Reed trying to get off the floor. He said he heard a noise like "loading a sack of spuds into a lorry". He heard that noise 15 to 20 times but because it was over do quickly he didnt turn away from the window. "From start to finish it would have been about 40/50 seconds"
He said he was feeling "frustrated" because of the argument and walked away to think about what the best thing to do would be. He walked to the lounge window and looked out. He says "I can't really recall what was going through my head. I was still frustrated, I was upset - confused basically"
He said "I was upset and angry at the time but when Mr Reed said that I just turned around and hit him." Lee was still sat on the corner of the sofa at the time and Benjamin was by the in the kitchen, Stuart said. Neither of them said anything after the punch
At this point the coffee table was on its side because it was being used to barricade the kitchen door to keep puppies in the room overnight. Stuart said he turned and walked away but could hear Mr Reed saying "why, why, why"
Lee was in the room and Mr Reed was in the hallway packing a bag to go to Weymouth when the two were rowing. Stuart said Mr Reed then turned around and said "I'll do your sister if she wants me to or not". Stuart said he lashed out and hit Mr Reed
Defence asks how the argument started and Stuart said it was over a comment by Benjamin about them becoming brothers-in-law. Benjamin mans Stuart had been arguing for a couple of weeks about it
Mr Reed went out a couple of times that morning, once with Benjamin. Stuart said "it was no different from any other morning". Yet Stuart punched Mr Reed that day. He was arguing with Benjamin about B wanting to go out with Stuart's sister Billie-Jo
Lee turned up during the day. The two had only been speaking for around a month- before that no contact at all. Lee added Stuart as a friend on Facebook and they began talking to each other
Now looking at events of June 7. Daniel came in just after 6am and woke Stuart up, he says. They had a short conversation. He then remembers hearing Mr Reed leave briefly before returning at around 8.45am
Stuart says there were "quite a few occasions" where he was part of conversations "joking" about killing Mr Reed but said it was not serious
Benjamin moved out of the shelter at the beginning of January and was staying with friends in boscombe. They would still see each other socially but he moved into the flat towards the end of March. Mr Reed invited him to move in after learning he was homeless, Stuart said
Daniel and Tiffany were already there when Stuart moved in. Stuart said "it took me a little while to consider and then I agreed to [move in]"
Stuart said while he doesn't condone Mr Reed's actions "no one lives a perfect life not doing anything wrong at all. Everyone deserves a second chance". Mr Reed asked Stuart to move in days after the punch
He went to the flat to apologise to Mr Reed for hitting him. Stuart said "He invited me in and I went along to the flat to have a cup of tea with him". That's when Stuart told him about the paperwork
A couple of his friends had children who Mr Reed sometimes looked after and took to the park so he took paperwork from the Cecil Road flat with information about Mr Reed's offences to show them. He told Mr Reed he had done this
He then called 999 to say Nr Reed had been attacked by a group of youths when he was passing by. He did not give his name. He said he knew a couple of others at the party were going back to Mr Reed's and said "I know I hit him but I didn't want him to come to any more harm"
Them he had abused a child. Stuart said "the group was outraged. I was just shocked by it. I could not believe that another human being could do that to a little kid and then openly brag about it". He said he punched Mr Reed in the face and walked out
Before Stuart moved in, there was a party at the flat. During this time, Mr Reed got "slaughtered" Stuart said, and during a conversation about previous offences, Mr Reed told
Stuart also helped Mr Reed to move into the flat. They loaded his possessions into shopping trolleys and pushed them over. After he left the shelter they remained friends and Stuart visited him at the flat
Mr Reed asked Stuart to let the gas man in at Cecil Road in mid-December and that's when he became aware of the flat
Stuart said Mr Reed told him he was just out of prison for stealing cars when they met each other. There was an incident over the state of his room that caused him to leave the shelter for a week- this was when his dog Cannie was in heat and he was asked to leave
Says he got on with Mr Reed "ok". They became friends. "He was just a laugh- we got on ok with one another" he said.
He also met Benjamin there in early December. Before he went to the shelter, Stuart knew none of these people. He said Daniel and he were "sort of best friends" after they met. He said his friendship with Benjamin was "pretty good". "I'd sit there drinking with Henry (Benjamin) and Daniel most days"
He met Daniel the day after he first went to the night shelter in early December. He met Tiffany two days before Christmas.
He didn't want to go home or to his grandmother's house because he couldn't face them. He found out about St Paul's from people he met when he was sleeping rough in a subway. This is where he met Mr Reed, Benjamin, and his flat mates Tiffany Maidment and Daniel Anderson
He ended up going to St Paul's night shelter in bournemouth after he a short period of sleeping rough
Going through the places Stuart has lived in, which include a home in Holdenhurst Road and a shared place in Charminster. He fell downstairs in October 2011 and was paralysed from the waist down, and he lost his job at McDonald's and his home
He became a dad at 18 and had two children. Although he was engaged, he didnt get married. One of his children died in March 2012
His relationship with his grandparents was "ok". Used to go and help them on the farm. He left school at 16 and went to Kingston Mauward to take a horticultural course
Stuart is 26 now. He left home at 15 to live with his nan and grandad in Lytchett Matravers and stayed there for a few years
Stuart Wareham is about to give evidence
Prosecution rests. Court resumes at 2pm with defence of Stuart Wareham
"One explanation for this is that Stuart Wareham, while wearing the track suit bottoms, has been in very close proximity to a source of Mr Reed's blood such ad would occur if he was present when he was assaulted" report reads
They also took jogging bottoms which were matched with Stuart's DNA. The bottoms had blood on that matched Mr Reed's. the pattern of the blood droplets was caused by airborne blood landing on them from a very close source.
Items seized from flat in June include a wooden handled hacksaw, an Alfi carrier bag, a small axe in a sheath and swabs of apparent blood from bath
He had been living at Cecil Road flat since march 16 2012
They said Mr Reed was sentenced to 10 years in prison on February 24 2002 after being convicted of four offences of rape involving two vulnerable victims, one of whom was a child. He was released on July 14 2008 but breached his parole and was sent back in September 2009. He was finally released on November 11 2011
That's the doctor's evidence finished. Admissions made by prosecution and defendants now being read out.
Asking about gag and whether it was out in place before or after death. Doctor said before is most likely
Back to prosecution who is asking about depressed fracture to head caused by rounded object. Doctor said this type of injury could not be caused by sharp corner of a coffee table- more the rounded end of a table leg, for example
Mr Reed believed to have become unconscious relatively quickly but not possible to tell exactly how quickly he died
Bruise to base of neck could have been caused by gripping or crushing the neck. Everything else is "heavy impact", doctor said. "He shows no sign of healing and injuries are relatively fresh"
Now lee's lawyer asking about possibility that all injuries were caused by one person - "one very heavy, powerful person". Doctor agrees, or said it could be a number of repetitive blows
Doctor now being asked about whether 28 fractured ribs could have been caused by a heavy person landing on Mr Reed's chest from some height rather than a number of kicks or similar. Doctor said it is possible
However, he says it is unlikely
The doctor is being asked some questions by defence. Stuart accepts he punched Mr Reed, who fell to the floor, his lawyer said. Dome-shaped injury could be caused by him colliding with part of the coffee table as he fell to the floor, he said. Doctor says someone could receive a similar injury like that bit it all depends on the position he falls in. "If for any reason he collides with protruding leg of table he could be injured in that way"
Quick break before cross examination
Injuries to neck and chest are consistent with stamping and a range of other possibilities. A heavy object could also have caused these injuries. "Extent of injury is such that I don't think it can be accounted for by any single blow" doctor said. More than one stamp or even jump, he said
There was no alcohol in Mr Reed's blood. Meningitis was not the cause of death although it may have eventually caused progressive brain damage. It may also have made him less alert
He also had no marks in his hands to suggest he had tried to defend himself or thrown any punches and doctor said he may have been unconscious
Cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma. He received numerous severe injuries which together brought about his death. He had a depressed fracture to his skull which would have needed "severe force" to create. Could have been inflicted by something like a hammer or similar. He had "overwhelming crushing injuries to his neck". His chest was also "stoven in" which meant he could not breathe properly
Scalp has bruising to underlying muscle. Ears internally were damaged
Both sides of tongue bruised at the tip, consistent with blows to the mouth
Mr Reed did not seem to have inhaled blood. Blood from ear would not have got into throat or lungs. Lungs did not show anything that contributed to his death but showed he was extremely heavy smoker
Heart and blood system examined next. Nothing that would contribute to death here
Also 28 rib fractures in total
"Pattern of injuries typical of very considerable force applied to the front of the neck" he said. In context, injuries are similar to those that could be sustained by car crash or industrial accident
Separation of spine because of injury. Doctor said injuries are "about as severe as it gets- damage to the muscles, voice box skeleton to deep parts internally and finally the spinal column injured."
Ragged split right down the middle of the voice box caused by heavy damage - stamping or a strong punch, the doctor says
"Extremely severe" damage to the inside of the neck. Injuries inflicted when Mr Reed was alive. Right up under the jaw is little bone that can be damaged from violence to neck- base of this bone was snapped. Cartilidge near voice box were also fractured
That fracture caused bleeding, but no bleeding into the brain. Unusually there was a deposit of material over right half of brain and a bit of the front of the left. Looks like meningitis but had been there for some time. Brain sent to specialist, but it was too difficult to tell what had caused the meningitis. Doctor said this could well explain Mr Reed's hospital visit in May
Now internal injuries. Muscle that moves jaw showed bruising on right hand side. Fracture to skull has caused inner or middle ear trauma that caused bleeding
These were the recently-inflicted injuries. There was one injury which seemed to be older. 23 recent in total
More marking on right leg. Up to 21 injuries on the body so far
Bruising on wrist too. Legs now. Left lower leg had several purple round bruises.
Bruising to right upper arm by elbow. Top of left shoulder bruised. Lower part of left arm shows tears in the skin. "Very little evidence of reaction from living body" from this wound, doctor says
Bruising to chest and back- bruising within large muscle by spine extending from nape of neck to bottom of chest cage and lesser bruising to lower left of muscle on left. Deep bruising to muscle overlying some of the ribs
Slippage of the skin caused by grazing or bruising. Superficial wound again. Another faint patch of bruising on neck. 13 injuries to face and neck
More bruising by right eye, to lining of upper lip and lower lip, large bruise (2 inches by 3 inches) extending along neck from behind the jaw
Quite a lot of loose blood inside carrier bag. Easily costing inside of bag, doctor said. Ear wound seemed to be main source of that.
Bruising above inner end of right eyebrow. Right side of forehead by hairline bruised. Bruising and swelling of right lower eyelid. Ragged tear in skin here too- that would have bled, doctor says. Red bruising within fold alongside the nose. Left of nose - red graze. Bruise outer corner of left eye. Seepage of blood from right ear hole
Lots of grazes and marks on Mr Reed's face. Superficial grazes, doctor says
The body had not decayed much even though it had not been refrigerated prior to post-mortem. Injuries now
Dr said Mr Reed had a BMI of 16.7, which is severely underweight
Completely encircling the lower face was a "tight ligature or gag". This was tightly wound around head and mouth, which was open
He was not wearing shoes- just socks
The doctor said the man's clothing was "saturated with water". Aldi carrier bag was knotted around his neck
The doctor said the man's head was tilted backwards. His ankles were crossed and his knees were against his chest. His head was covered by a carrier bag
Mr Reed had also had a mini-stroke in May. The doctor was presented with a suitcase at the post mortem. In the suitcase, which was heavily soiled, they found a doubled-up male in "roughly foetal" position
Post mortem carried out just a few hours after Mr Reed's body was found on June 13 last year. He was a very heavy smoker. He had COPD and athsma. At the time if his death he was being tested for TB because he was so underweight
Hearing from independent forensic pathologist who completed Mr Reed's post-mortem report
Good morning. Alex Winter is reporting from Winchester Crown Court for day seven of the trial today, which begins at 10.30am.