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Grandfather 'killed in row over £50'

PUBLISHED: 09:34 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:31 03 July 2010

A grandfather who choked to death when his own walking stick was forced down his throat may have been killed in an argument over £50, a murder jury heard yesterday.

A grandfather who choked to death when his own walking stick was forced down his throat may have been killed in an argument over £50, a murder jury heard yesterday.

Alan Bowles was found dead at his flat in Yarmouth Way, Yarmouth, in May last year after suffering several injuries. A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was the injury inflicted with his walking stick.

His three drinking pals - Kathleen Johnson, David Comer, and Paul Slack - are standing trial at Norwich Crown Court accused of murder.

The court has already heard how 64-year-old Mr Bowles was scared of the trio and had been a “jibbering wreck” the last time he was seen alive. Prosecutors say he was subjected to “unimaginable” violence by his killers.

In a police statement read to the court, Johnson said: “They were arguing over £50 and Paul just got the walking stick. He just lost his head. Paul just kept pushing it in and out of his mouth. It was horrible to see.

“Paul lost his rag. He kept putting it in and out of his mouth and said, 'He's still breathing'.”

She claimed Slack had taken £50 off Mr Bowles the previous day and they were arguing. Mr Bowles said he was going to “blade him” and went to get a knife. Slack had taken the knife off him and she had thrown it out of the window.

Johnson claimed the other defendant, Comer, was “putting the boot in - kicking Mr Bowles”. As Slack continued to push the stick into his throat, she claimed she told him to stop but Slack said: “His time's up.” She claimed she wanted to go to the police but Slack told her: “No, I did it. I'm going to get done for murder for this.”

Comer had denied he was involved but later said he was present when Mr Bowles was killed. He said he was frightened to tell the police because he was scared of what Slack might do.

David Wilson, for the prosecution, said Slack had answered “no comment” throughout his police interview.

Comer, 40, of Broad Row, Yarmouth, and Slack, 48, and Johnson, 58, both of no fixed address, all deny murder.

The case continues.


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