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Simon Everitt murder trial latest

PUBLISHED: 10:06 18 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:55 03 July 2010

ONE of the men accused of murdering a 17-year-old Norfolk student who was doused in petrol and set on fire told a jury on Friday that he played no part in the killing and had spent that evening sitting on his own on Yarmouth seafront for some peace and quiet.

ONE of the men accused of murdering a 17-year-old Norfolk student who was doused in petrol and set on fire told a jury on Friday that he played no part in the killing and had spent that evening sitting on his own on Yarmouth seafront for some peace and quiet.

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

Maria Chandler, 40, of Lancaster Road, Yarmouth, Jonathan 'Munch' Clarke, from Telford, and Jimi-lee Stewart, of Nelson Road Central, Yarmouth, all deny murder.

Jurors have heard that Clarke, 19, and Stewart, 25, and Mr Everitt had fallen out after they all dated the same girl, Fiona Statham.

Giving evidence at Norwich Crown Court y, Clarke admitted he hated Mr Everitt after he found Ms Statham had cheated on him with Mr Everitt.

“It got me wound up very, very quickly,” he said. “I remember saying on a few occasions that I hated him, that I wanted to stab him up or cut him up or something like that. At the time I was angry as I still had feelings for Fiona. It was winding me up.”

He said he assaulted Mr Everitt the day before his disappearance on June 8 after meeting him in St George's Park and was arrested and charged but said the next day he felt it was all in the past. He said: “Once I gave him a kicking in the park, my grief with him was over.”

Asked by his barrister Anthony Arlidge QC if he had bundled Mr Everitt into the back of Chandler's car and driven him into the countryside at Mautby he replied: “No”.

He also denied he poured petrol over Mr Everitt and set him alight and claimed he was not present but was on his own sitting on Yarmouth seafront from about 9.30 that evening until the early hours.

“I wanted to get some peace and quiet and sat right by the Ocean Park and just relaxed,” he said.

He admitted he was earlier filmed on CCTV filling a canister with petrol but said that was in case Chandler ran out of petrol or his friend might need some fuel.

He denied he had any other plan in mind.

Clarke admitted he called his two hunting knives his “babies”.

He also agreed he might have made a comment after watching a spoof horror film about someone being set alight that it would be nice to do that to someone, but said it would have been for “a laugh”.

He said he was taking a lot of drugs at the time and said: “I might have been out of my face when I said that.”

When asked by Mr Arlidge if he was responsible in any way for the death of Mr Everitt he again replied: “No”.

He said if he had been involved in the murder he would have handed himself in.

In cross examination, Paul Lewis QC asked: “If you were not responsible for killing Simon Everitt you are the victim of a great number of unhappy coincidences.”

Clarke replied: “Yes.”

The case continues.


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