Murder trial hears from police officer

Ricky Walker
Ricky Walker

A man accused of murdering a fellow drinker at a flat in Scarborough told police officers he had never assaulted him, saying it must have been his co-accused, a jury heard.

DC James Temple told Leeds Crown Court yesterday that Clifford Honeyman was being interviewed on October 23 following the discovery of the body of Richard Walker, three days earlier at a flat in Princess Street.

Honeyman maintained he must have been asleep at the time of any violence against Mr Walker.

The prosecution claim Honeyman and Andrew Stevenson, known as Drew, were both responsible for a sustained and brutal assault on Mr Walker.

DC Temple said Honeyman said he remembered Stevenson and Mr Walker having a heated conversation at one point on the evening of October 19 but denied he joined in and hit Mr Walker while he was sitting in a chair.

The officer said Honeyman was told of the substantial amount of blood found in areas of the flat suggesting a struggle. “What involvement did you have?” he was asked.

“None at all, none at all,” he replied.

“Who was it?” he was asked and replied: “It must have been Drew.”

Honeyman, 42, and Stevenson, 39, of no fixed addresses, each deny the murder of Mr Walker and deny two charges of robbery on other drinkers on earlier dates.

A third man, Stephen Atkinson, 55 of Oxcliff, Scarborough, denies the two charges of robbery.

The jury heard from pathologist Dr Nigel Cooper that Mr Walker “died from heat and chest injuries having been the victim of a violent and sustained beating.”

He said a post mortem revealed that he had 39 separate fractures of the ribs. On his left side he only had one rib which was not broken. He also had a fracture to his breastbone, his thyroid cartilage and to two lumber vertabra.

Dr Cooper said he also found Mr Walker had suffered a split in his liver and his left kidney had been damaged.

He also had “massive bruising” covering all surfaces of his head except the top, including bruising to his face apart from his chin. He had internal brain damage and there were signs he was affected by lack of oxygen which was consistent with impaired breathing because of his chest injuries.

The pathologist said a test showed an alcohol reading of 303 milligrammes in 100 millilitres of blood which was very nearly four times the driving limit but his liver reflected previous alcohol abuse.

The trial continues.