Murder trial hears of ‘shout or scream’

The murder scene on Eastborough
The murder scene on Eastborough

A MURDER trial was told yesterday that a “shout or scream” was heard from the block of flats in which Scarborough man Gary Virr was killed.

Leeds Crown Court was told by William Tait, who lived above Mr Virr’s Eastborough flat, that he heard what he believed was a male voice shouting “get off the bed” on the night of December 19, four days before the body was discovered.

John Stamford, who the court heard was seen by police officer PC Paul Rogers earlier that day with Mr Virr at the flat, has denied murder.

Mr Tait told the jury: “That evening I had come home at 9pm and went to bed. Later, I heard what sounded like an altercation – a scream or a shout. I wasn’t asleep, I was dozing.”

The next morning, Mr Tait said he noticed that the light in Mr Virr’s property was on and that the communal door to the block had been left open, which he stated was unusual.

The court also heard evidence from PC Rogers, who had gone to the Eastborough flat at around 7pm on December 19 after Mr Virr’s partner said he was missing.

PC Rogers said that he found Mr Virr in the company of Stamford but nothing concerned him at the time.

“Mr Virr was just cooking food,” PC Rogers said. “I told him the reason I was there. He said he didn’t want anyone to know where he was and that he was fine.

“He was cooking away. I said the smell was nice and he offered to make me a bacon sandwich.”

PC Rogers added that both Stamford and Mr Virr seemed in good spirits and that Stamford seemed to be concerned for Mr Virr and told him he was “looking out for him”.

Yesterday the court also heard evidence from Janine McKenna, who had been at her brother Daniel’s flat in Queen’s Terrace that evening.

She said Stamford came round to the property that night and described noticing reddish-brown paint on his jeans.

She said a “rambling and upset” Stamford repeatedly spoke about his daughter, who had been taken into care.

After spending between 20 and 30 minutes in the flat she said Stamford left before returning and saying something like “the police are coming,” or “they’re after me.”

Miss McKenna’s boyfriend, Alexander Johnson said he was also present at the flat and noticed stains on Stamford’s clothing.

He told the court: “I remember he was talking about his daughter. It seemed like she had been taken away through legal proceedings.

“There were brown splash markings that looked like paint but could have been blood. There was quite a large amount on his jeans.”

On Tuesday, the court heard that Mr Virr had been killed by a bunny rabbit soft toy which was stuffed into his mouth and suffocated him.

The trial continues.