Rodger Tett murder trial: 'My son acted in self-defence' defendant's mum tells court (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Rodger Tett murder trial: 'My son acted in self-defence' defendant's mum tells court
RODGER Tett was "bang out on the floor" when he was stamped on by Stephen Gibbs before his death, a court heard today.
The 42-year-old Bournemouth man reacted with anger after seeing murder accused Gibbs snorting a line of cocaine off a table in his home, the defendant's mother Annette said today.
She told the jury at Winchester Crown Court that Mr Tett punched her son twice in the chest and face on September 7 last year before Gibbs lashed out.
The two men had spent the afternoon together at Mr Tett's home in Luckham Road, Bournemouth, before the alleged row took place during the afternoon.
Mrs Gibbs, who wept in the court and ran rosary beads through her fingers before starting to give her evidence, said tension had brewed that day as Mr Tett's fiancée, Kim Trevillion, had been "acting flirtatiously" with her son.
"It was making Rodger angry," she said.
"He had been angry all day [before he punched Gibbs]."
Mrs Gibbs said she was sitting in her wheelchair when she saw her son punching Mr Tett to the ear and eye.
The court heard that Mr Tett fell to the floor before Gibbs "stamped on his head".
"Stephen gave him [Mr Tett] two smacks [stamps] to the head," she said.
"Rodger was just lying there. His ear was bloody and his eye was really bad."
She said Gibbs then pulled the door against Mr Tett's head, but added: "I think he was just trying to get out of the house".
Mr Tett died on September 9 of severe head injuries at hospital in Southampton.
Mrs Gibbs told police officers during an interview that her son had "behaved like an animal", but said today: "It was self-defence, honest to God".
However, Michael Vere-Hodge QC, defending Gibbs, suggested that his mother's testimony was confused.
"Mr Tett was both bigger and around two stone heavier than the defendant," he said.
"You say now that you were affected by drink and medication that you were taking. The overall effect is that, although there may be parts of the day that are clear, overall it isn't so clear."
In a 999 call played to the court, Mrs Gibbs told a call handler for the ambulance service that two men had attacked her son.
She told the court she wasn't sure why she had said that.
Gibbs, 33, denies a single count of murder.
The trial continues.