Everitt's alleged killer takes to stand

MARIA Chandler - the woman accused of helping two others murder a 17-year-old Norfolk student - yesterday told a court she helped police find his body because “I wanted them to know how wicked those boys had been”.

MARIA Chandler - the woman accused of helping two others murder a 17-year-old Norfolk student - yesterday told a court she helped police find his body because “I wanted them to know how wicked those boys had been”.

The 40-year-old mother-of-one took to the witness stand to give evidence after the prosecution closed their case at Norwich Crown Court. It is not yet clear if co-defendants Jimi-Lee Stewart and Jonathan “Munch” Clarke will also give evidence.

The body of Simon Everitt, an engineering student from Yarmouth, was found in a swamp near Mautby woods in June last year. He had been beaten, tied to a tree, doused in petrol and set alight.

Chandler, who is 4ft 11ins and said she weighed 6st 9lbs at the time of the killing, told the court that she had been forced into acting as the driver and she had no idea what had been planned.


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Recalling June 8, the day Mr Everitt went missing, she said: “I was told to put clothes on by Munch. He was angry and threatening.

“He asked if I'd got the money and took �30 from me which my mother had given to me.

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“I was told to drive to the petrol station and we filled up a petrol can. I asked why are we doing this? and he told me to shut up. I had no idea in my head what the petrol can was going to be used for.”

She went on to describe how she was ordered to drive to a lay-by where she and Clarke waited for about two hours. He then told her to stay there while he disappeared in her car.

Eventually Clarke returned and shortly after she heard the voices of Mr Everitt and Stewart. Clarke said he was “going to give Simon a beating”. She was told to wait in the car while Mr Everitt was loaded into the boot.

Clarke then directed her to Mautby woods. Once there he and Stewart led their alleged victim into the woods and she was told to wait with the car.

After about 30 minutes she decided to find out what was happening. “I walked through the gap into the woods,” she said.

“I saw smoke and flames. I could hear Munch saying who's that? and I told him it was me. He told me to stay back.

“I asked where Simon was and Munch said there in front of you and pointed towards the tree. That's when I ran off, I was horrified.”

Chandler claimed that later that night they returned to her home where Clarke told her she should not tell anyone what happened. Even after the incident, it did not occur to her that Mr Everitt had been killed.

She said: “He said I would get a severe beating. He said he would cut me up in front of my daughter and he would do things to her too.”

She admitted that she lied in her first police interview and told officers she knew nothing about the crime. But she later told them she had been forced to take part.

She led police to the area in Mautby woods where she had parked the car and also to the lay-by where the bike Mr Everitt had been riding when he was abducted was dumped.

“I wanted to be as helpful as I could,” Chandler said. “I wanted them to know how wicked those boys had been.”

Chandler, of Lancaster Road, Yarmouth, Clarke, 19, from Telford, and Stewart, 25, of Nelson Road, Central, Yarmouth, all deny murder.

The case continues.

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