Scarborough murder trial told man was kicked to death

Court latest
Court latest

A vulnerable man was beaten and kicked to death in a callous and sustained attack by two men he had been drinking with in Scarborough, a jury heard.

Richard Walker, 50, known as Ricky died from head and chest injuries including 39 rib fractures and liver and kidney damage.

John Elvidge QC prosecuting claimed at Leeds Crown Court today(mon) that his injuries were inflicted by “the hands and feet” of Andrew Stevenson and Clifford Honeyman at a flat in Princess Street where they had all been drinking with the occupant.

He told the jury afterwards the pair had boasted about what they had done and when Honeyman was arrested he had images on his phone of Mr Walker alive, sitting on a chair the night before he died but already with heavy bruising on his face.

Mr Walker, who was vulnerable because of his abuse of alcohol, lived in another flat in the same building.

Mr Elvidge said the violence allegedly began on October 19 when Stevenson slapped Mr Walker across the face and then punched him in the abdomen after an argument developed about football hooliganism.

He said Mr Walker initially claimed to have been present at one incident and Stevenson reacted to that saying “You don’t know who you are dealing with”.

After the first punch he repeatedly got up from his chair and did it again. Mr Walker put his hands up to deflect the blows and when he tried to leave the flat was dragged back by Stevenson.

He offered to go for more drink and again tried to get away but was then pulled back by Honeyman, said Mr Elvidge.

Mr Walker went through to the bathroom and after Honeyman and Stevenson followed the occupier of the flat heard thumps and Mr Walker saying: “Why are you doing this to me”. One of his alleged attackers replied that he could not stand the sight of him.

When he returned Mr Walker’s eyes were puffy and his lip was bleeding. Stevenson was complaining about having his blood on his jeans.

They told Mr Walker to sleep on the floor while they had sleeping bags. The next morning Honeyman commented that Mr Walker looked as though he was dead but Stevenson said he could hear him breathing.

Later that afternoon after the pair had left the occupant tried to wake Mr Walker and called an ambulance saying he was unresponsive, when paramedics arrived he was already dead.

He said only days before the attack on Mr Walker, Honeyman and Stevenson had been involved in robberies on two other heavy drinkers in Scarborough, along with a third defendant Stephen Atkinson. One of those victims had also been subjected to a sustained assault.

Honeyman, 42, and Stevenson, 39, of no fixed addresses each deny the murder of Mr Walker and deny two charges of robbery. Atkinson, 55 of Oxcliff, Scarborough denies the two charges of robbery.

Mr Elvidge told the jury the first robbery was on October 13 when Alistair Frankland, an alcoholic who was homeless and often slept on the streets was forcibly escorted by Honeyman, Stevenson and Atkinson to the Post Office in Aberdeen Walk, Scarborough “no doubt aware his bank account had just been credited with his benefits.”

Once there Atkinson searched his pockets removing his bank card and a piece of paper with his PIN. Honeyman then used it to withdraw £150.

Mr Frankland later told his support worker he had been mugged by three people but at that stage was reluctant to go to the police because he was frightened. Honeyman later claimed to have only escorted him for his protection and denied withdrawing the money.

John Howie, who also had a history of abusing alcohol, was the victim in the second robbery, said Mr Elvidge. He was drinking in his flat with Honeyman, Stevenson and Atkinson on October 14 when he was attacked and punched repeatedly until he lost consciousness.

When he came round he saw Stevenson waving a screwdriver. He was further punched and kicked in the ribs and eventually disclosed his PIN number when he claimed Atkinson got on top of him and started strangling him.

CCTV showed Honeyman going to the Post Office cash machine and withdrawing £130. When the three men eventually left Mr Howie’s flat Honeyman also took his replica army watch.

The attack on Mr Walker was the culmination of the episodes of violence by Honeyman and Stevenson.

The trial continues.