Search

Norfolk man’s murder co-accused ‘bragged about killing’, court told

PUBLISHED: 20:47 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 20:47 15 October 2020

Joe Pooley, from Ipswich, who was found in the River Gipping   Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Joe Pooley, from Ipswich, who was found in the River Gipping Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Archant

A man co-accused with a Great Yarmouth man of the murder of an autistic man bragged to a friend that he had killed someone, a court has heard.

Body has had been discovered in the River Gipping near London Road, Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGEBody has had been discovered in the River Gipping near London Road, Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Sebastian Smith allegedly told the woman that he had “put a person who couldn’t swim in the river during a fight” and that he had “murdered someone”.

Christopher Paxton QC, prosecuting, said: “This is a clear confession by Sebastian Smith to murder, nothing more, nothing less.

“This comment by Sebastian Smith that Joe Pooley couldn’t swim suggests does it not that he watched Joe Pooley drown.”

A few days later he called the same woman and allegedly told her: “Oh the body in the river it was me,” and referred to himself as a wanted man.

Prosecutors allege four defendants ganged up and murdered 22-year-old Joe Pooley, who was found dead in the River Gipping in Ipswich.

All four, two men and two women, have denied murdering Mr Pooley on or before August 7, 2018.

They also deny an alternative charge of manslaughter.

One of the men accused of the murder bragged to a friend that he had killed someone, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Before the court, alongside Sebastian Smith, 35, of no fixed address, are Sean Palmer, 30, of South Market Road, in Great Yarmouth, Becki West-Davidson, 30, of Rope Walk, Ipswich, and Lisa-Marie Smith, 26, of Hawick, Roxburghshire.

Mr Paxton has alleged that West-Davidson had been angry with Mr Pooley over comments he was said to have made about her and Lisa-Marie Smith and had “stoked up hostility towards him”.

He claimed that Sebastian Smith and Palmer had attacked Mr Pooley and thrown his body in the river after Sebastian Smith’s then girlfriend, Lisa-Marie Smith, lured Mr Pooley from his address, knowing he was going to be attacked, or at the very least “given a serious beating”.

He claimed that following the discovery of Mr Pooley’s body, Palmer told his then girlfriend that Sebastian Smith had punched Mr Pooley and he had helped put him in the river.

Mr Paxton claimed West-Davidson “tried to cover up” the alleged murder by deleting a number of Facebook messages, including one in which Mr Pooley asked her to “call off the hit”.

Mr Paxton said it was agreed by West-Davidson that she and Mr Pooley had sex at her flat in on the night of August 5.

He said that although West-Davidson had expressed love for Mr Pooley she had fallen into a rage after learning about comments he had allegedly made about her children.

Sebastian Smith had allegedly been angry about things Mr Pooley was supposed to have said about him and his girlfriend Lisa-Marie Smith and sent him a text saying: “I’m going everywhere until I find you.”

Mr Paxton alleged that the defendants had “bullied, threatened and ganged up on” Mr Pooley.

He said that prior to his death Mr Pooley received a message from Sebastian Smith saying: “RIP Joe” and one from West-Davidson saying: “I wish you’d just die.”

The trial continues.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury