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Body in a suitcase murder trial: day eight
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- 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.
Court breaks for the day. Back tomorrow at 10.30am.
Stuart says they got the code from 'How I met Your Mother'.
Stuart wrote in a letter from prison that from the evidence the police had they had a "good chance of walking".
He also wrote that if not he had a "back up plan".
And he and Henry had a "friend code".
Q: You classed yourselves as a team? The Three Amigos?
Q: Referring to a letter written from prison.
Stuart describes Henry as being Harry Potter, himself as Ron Weasley and Lee as Lupin - one of the school teachers. Dan is Severus Snape.
Q: You were like the characters from Harry Potter. Ron Weasley would have done anything for Harry Potter. You would have done anything for Henry?
You were prepared to do anything for him am I right?
Stuart: Within reason, yeah.
Q: You describe yourself in many letters as the Three Amigos - you, Henry and Lee.
Q:What's gone wrong?
Stuart: Nothing. Loads of different reasons. Lots of little things.
Q: Anything to do with the fact you are blaming each other for this death?
Q: What did you first see when you turned round?
"I heard Dan say there's blood everywhere. I think he's dead.
"Blood down the side of his face."
Q: He was threatening to rape your sister and you described him as "dear friend"?
Q: Did he deserve to die?
Q: Who do you say killed him?
Stuart: To be honest I didn't see. I can't be 100 per cent sure.
It could have been any one of us. Me, Henry, Lee, Dan. I hit him and done that damage to his head which could have caused a blood clot or something.
Q: Was it a lie?
Stuart: It wasn't a lie, it just wasn't the correct truth.
Stuart described Geoff as a "dear friend" on his arrest.
Prosecutor Timothy Mousley QC is now cross examining Stuart.
Mr Nsugbe has finished his cross examination.
Stuart us denying that he is devious.
Stuart: "I am not a devious person."
Q: Why didn't you tell your sister that she had a dead body in her boot?
Stuart: Because she would have freaked out.
Q: Is that devious?
Q: Buring a body alongside a farm by your Nan was devious wasn't it?
In a letter to Mum Sarah Skinner he asked for newspaper clippings to be sent to him from the Daily Echo and The Sun about Mr Reed's death.
Q: You are very worried that Lee or Henry are going to tell the truth that you killed Geoff.
Referring to letters written from prison, Mr Nsugbe asks Stuart why he signed one of them from 'Screwdriver Stuart'.
Stuart said: It's a nickname I have got since I have been in prison.
Q: But why. Are you some kind of handyman?
Stuart: No it's since I've been in prison.
Q: You are not going to tell us why are you?
Stuart: It's since prison because Mr Reed was killed by a screwdriver to the head.
Stuart said it was Daniel Anderson's idea to put Geoff's body in the suitcase but he fetched the suitcase.
Stuart said it was Lee's idea for Henry to go out of the flat dressed in Mr Reed's clothes.
Q: Mr Wareham you are not telling the truth are you?
Stuart: Yeah I am.
Q: The trouble is you cannot remember one lie from the other. Thats the problem with lies.
Q: We've heard that his throat was effectively crushed.
He took a very violent beating didn't he?
He must have been moaning and groaning, he must have been making sounds of a dying man?
Stuart: I didn't hear him make a sound.
Oba Nsugbe asking questions still - now onto events of June 7 last year
Q: You were going absolutely berserk.
Q: All the thuds and noises were you.
We are back in court to continue with the case.
There is going to be a short delay until at least 2.45pm.
Court breaks for lunch. Back at 2.10pm.
Q: When you discovered about Mr Reed's past, you couldn't control yourself?
Stuart: I had been drinking. I cannot really explain my actions. I felt sick. I felt hurt by him not being honest with me.
Q: And you snapped and hit Mr Reed?
Stuart: Yes I hit Mr Reed but I walked away.
He said he couldn't explain why he couldn't stop himself hitting him.
Q: Mr Reed was eight stones, you were close to 30 stones.
He was no match for you was he?
Stuart: I don't know what you mean.
Stuart is now speaking about his relationship with Geoff.
"We could have a laugh and talk about things.
He was kind to me, he took me in."
Stuart is talking through the family dynamics.
Stuart is now being cross examined by Oba Nsugbe QC, representing Lee Wareham.
Q: You hated Geoff for what he'd done. On that day when Geoff told you face to face that he wanted to have sex with your 17/18 year old sister whether she liked it or not - that sent you off on one didn't it?
Stuart: Yes and I smacked him one for it.
Q: You lost your temper and you killed him.
Stuart: No I didn't kill Mr Reed.
Stuart: Henry told me that he kicked Geoff four times.
Q: You were threatening Henry Walter to keep his mouth shut in this court room weren't you Mr Wareham?
Q: You know perfecty well that Henry had nothing to do with Geoff's death don't you?
Stuart: Like I said I didn't see who attacked him but there were five people in that house - as far as I'm concerned one of them or all three of them killed Mr Reed.
Stuart has denied trying to get Henry to change his account to the police.
Defence are reading out some extracts from letters written by Stuart about sticking to no comment and not being a grass.
Said he didn't want to end up in a suitcase.
Asked what this meant, Stuart says it is reference to not being seen as a grass and assaulted in prison.
Says he was assaulted in prison when he had rice pudding thrown over his head, burning his head and ear.
David Mason QC has put it to Stuart that he was trying to persuade Henry Walter to keep to a story for the court case and threaten him not to give account of him being responsible.
Stuart says he was upset that Henry had told police about what had happened because he was "trying to blame me".
Stuart admits lying throughout his police interview by claiming that Geoff had gone to Weymouth.
Q: Did you threaten Henry that if he didn't help you get rid of the body the same would happen t him?
Q: You had killed Geoff and wanted Henry to help you get rid of the body.
Stuart says Geoff didn't fit in the bath so they put his body behind the sofa.
They then put it into a suitcase.
He said he suggested they take the suitcase to his nan's and bury it in the woods.
Q: Do you remember half way through you actually asked Henry who was in the loo to get a glass of water for Geoff? That you poured it into his mouth and he was still alive at that time?
Stuart: No that's not correct.
Q: You put the screwdriver into his head to finish him off, didn't you?
Q: I am suggesting you didn't stop at the punch you carried on beating him to death didn't you?
Stuart: That's not correct.
Q: Stamping on him?
Q: Perhaps jumping on his chest?
Stuart tells the court he weighed close to 30 stones at the time of the incident - says he's lost 11 stones in prison.
Stuart says on the morning of June 7 Geoff made a comment to him along the lines of "I am going to have your sister whether she likes it or not".
Q: Bearing in mind what you knew about Geoff and what had happened to a member of your family - did something inside you snap?
Stuart: Yes I hit him.
Another extract has been read to the court in which Stuart wrote: "There's one more paedo off the street...which is a good thing. I am not going to forget that in a hurry."
Q: You have a personal family reason for hating paedos don't you?
Stuart: I felt upset with it when I first found out what Mr Reed had done but we built bridges since then.
Stuart says he "felt a bit sick" when he discovered Geoff had raped a nine-year-old girl.
Stuart: Any person who rapes someone or abuses a child I am not happy about what they have done but I do forgive them for it.
Q: You thought he was a dirty paedo didn't you?
Q: You were the one who killed Geoff weren't you?
Stuart: No I hit him but as I walked away he was still talking.
Q: You killed Geoff and this account of you looking out of the window is a "sad way" of trying to blame everybody except yourself?
Stuart: No that's not true.
Another extract from a letter is being read out in which Stuart wrote: "I am not going to get Lee or Henry in the shit even though Lee actually killed him."
Q: Here are three examples of you blaming Dan and now you are trying to blame Lee for it. You willb lame anybdy except yourself wouldn't you Mr Wareham?
Stuart: I have already admitted to the part I had in it.
Youll blame anyoody would you Mr Wareham, despite the fact you saw nobody do a thing to Geoff.
"I am only saying what I have since been told."
Defence are reading out extracts from a poem Stuart wrote to Henry while in prison.
It is titled Not Guilty.
"I didn't kill him although I wanted to.
"I left it for my best mate Dan to do."
Q: You are blaming Dan for the killing aren't you?
Stuart: No. It is just a poem and the words filled in the gap basically.
Q: We suggest on behalf of Mr Walter, that you would blame anybody else in this case rather than yourself about what happened to Geoff wouldn't you>
Q: You started blaming Dan about what happened.
Stuart: I have only said the truth so far.
David Mason QC, representing Benjamin Henry Walter, is asking Stuart to look a copies of letters he sent to Walter in prison.
There are 74 pages.
We are ready again now.
We are having a short break while some letters are photocopied for the jury.
Stuart tells the court he's not very good with words.
"I don't know big fancy words, I grew up on a farm."
Referring to Stuart Wareham's defence statement:
Q: You believe that these two men and Daniel Anderson were responsible for the assault on Geoffrey. Why do you say that bearing in mind you didn't see who struck him?
Stuart: It only says I believe.
From the noise I heard and what they have told me afterwards happened, I do believe that's what happened.
Stuart told the court yesterday that he punched Mr Reed to the head, turned round to look out of the window. He said he heard noise coming from behind him.
Q: It's absolute nonsense you stared out of the window for 40/50 seconds.
Q: You didn't see anything?
Stuart: I didn't see anyone touch Mr Reed after I hit him.
I didn't see Mr Reed getting kicked or stamped on by any of them.
I could only assume from what I was hearing and from who was in the room.
Q: Did you want any further violence to happen to Geoff?
Q: Why didn't you turn round if you thought he was getting a pasting from Henry and your brother?
Stuart: I dont know.
Q: You expect the jury to believe everything you say?
Stuart: It's the truth so yes.
Stuart being asked to recount what happened in the flat with Geoff on the morning of June 7 last year.
Examination in chief finished now.
Stuart will now be cross examined by Benjamin Henry Walter's barrister.
Stuart is being handed a paper copy of his Facebook page which refers to his "everyone has a dark side" entry.
Stuart Wareham is returning back to the witness box to continue giving evidence.
Good morning Paula Roberts reporting from the trial at Winchester today.