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Jury considering verdicts in the trial of a stepfather accused of murdering a toddler

PUBLISHED: 14:49 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:15 28 November 2017

David Dearlove with Paul Booth, weeks before the child died. Inset Dearlove during the trial. Photo: Cleveland Police/Evening Gazette

David Dearlove with Paul Booth, weeks before the child died. Inset Dearlove during the trial. Photo: Cleveland Police/Evening Gazette

Archant

A jury considering verdicts in the trial of a Great Yarmouth stepfather accused of murdering a toddler almost 50 years ago will continue their deliberations tomorrow.

David Dearlove, 71, denies swinging 19-month-old Paul Booth, by the ankles against a fireplace in 1968.

The grandfather has told Teesside Crown Court the little boy, the youngest of his partner’s three children, fell out of bed at the family home in Haverton Hill, Stockton, Teesside.

MORE: David Dearlove to appear in court accused of murdering boy aged 18 months

Dearlove denies murder and child cruelty charges.

Paul’s brother Peter Booth told the jury how when he was aged three he crept downstairs for a drink and saw Dearlove swing the toddler against the mantelpiece.

He died later that night in hospital from head injuries.

Police investigated at the time but no charges were brought and an inquest recorded an open verdict.

MORE: Man ‘haunted for 50 years’ after he claims he saw his Great Yarmouth step dad kill his baby brother

The matter came to light again in 2015 when Peter Booth went to the police after becoming incensed at seeing a Facebook photo of Dearlove with his little brother on his knee.

Peter Booth and his sister Stephanie alleged Dearlove was physically abusive towards them before he split with their mother, Carol, who has since died.

Dearlove, from Great Yarmouth, told the court he moved to London after the break-up, married, had two daughters and is now a grandfather.

He denies harming any of the children and the jury has heard he has no previous convictions.

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