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Accused 'only pushed stick past lips'

PUBLISHED: 09:50 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:34 03 July 2010

ONE of the three friends accused of murdering a Norfolk grandfather by ramming his walking stick down his throat told the jury yesterday he only pushed it just past his lips without intending to do any serious harm.

ONE of the three friends accused of murdering a Norfolk grandfather by ramming his walking stick down his throat told the jury yesterday he only pushed it just past his lips without intending to do any serious harm.

Paul Slack, along with co-defend-ants Kathleen Johnson and David Comer, is on trial for the murder of 64-year-old Alan Bowles, who was found dead at his flat in Yarmouth Way, Yarmouth, in May last year after suffering multiple injuries.

Elizabeth Marsh, who is defending Comer, questioned Slack, 48, of no fixed address, during the trial at Norwich Crown Court.

She asked Slack how far he had pushed Mr Bowles's walking stick into his mouth and he replied: “Just past his lips. Not to do any serious harm, certainly not to kill him, just to stop him going on at me.”

He repeatedly told the court he had put a pillow over Mr Bowles's mouth and then pushed the stick into it to “stop him going on” and admitted that he was riled because Mr Bowles was angry but he did not know why.

When Miss Marsh suggested he had “lost it” and just picked up the stick to ram it down his throat, Slack replied: “No ma'am.”

He also denied conversations with family members during which he allegedly admitted killing Mr Bowles and told the court: “I have done nothing but help that man.”

Richard Potts, prosecuting, asked Slack why he had not called an ambulance for Bowles and Slack said: “I thought he was already dead.”

Mr Potts continued: “If you suspect someone is badly hurt, you try to do something about it don't you?”

Slack answered: “In normal circumstances I expect you would.” He added: “It freaked my mind out.”

Slack, Comer, 40, of Broad Row, Yarmouth, and Johnson, 58, of no fixed address, all deny murder.

The trial continues.

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