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Uncle 'admitted his part in killing'

PUBLISHED: 09:40 04 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:31 03 July 2010

A nephew of one of the three accused of killing a grandfather who choked to death on his own walking stick told a jury on Friday that his uncle had confessed to him about his involvement.

A nephew of one of the three accused of killing a grandfather who choked to death on his own walking stick told a jury on Friday that his uncle had confessed to him about his involvement.

Alan Bowles was found dead in his favourite armchair in his home in Yarmouth Way, Yarmouth, after lying undiscovered for several days.

The 64-year-old, nicknamed “The Old Man” suffered five fractured ribs and numerous bruises and had been smothered - but eventually died when the walking stick was forced more than eight inches into his windpipe by his tormentors.

David Comer, 39, of Broad Row, Yarmouth, and Kathleen Johnson, 57, and Paul Slack, 46, both of no fixed address, all deny murder.

Giving evidence, Jodi Manguzi told a Norwich Crown Court jury that Slack had come round to his home and told him he had been involved in what he called “the big one”.

Mr Manguzi said: “I asked him what he meant by that, and he said, 'Murder'.”

He added: “I was a bit taken aback at first. I did not know what to think.”

He said he sat and drank a bottle of rum with his uncle and throughout the day Slack told him a few more details. He said Slack said there had been an argument and Mr Bowles had pulled out a knife. He said there had been a scuffle and Slack had disarmed Mr Bowles.

He said a woman had then started to kick and punch Mr Bowles and a pillow was put over his face to stop the noise of his screaming.

Mr Manguzi said: “He [Slack] got the old man's walking stick and put it in his mouth. He did not know why. He could not understand himself as to why he put it in.”

He said Slack then told him Comer had kicked the stick twice, pushing it down the grandfather's throat.

“The old man had stopped moving and basically someone pulled the cane out and it was covered in blood. They panicked and all three left.”

He said he had given Slack cash and clothing and taken him to the station to get a train to Cambridge where he had found somewhere to stay.

Giving evidence, Home Office pathologist Nat Cary, who carried out a post-mortem examination, said Mr Bowles had died after the stick was forced down his throat.

The case continues.


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