Leeds man, 20, admits murdering Bradford pensioner

Clement Desmier

Clement Desmier

A LEEDS man has admitted murdering a Bradford grandfather who was asphyxiated with a cushion and repeatedly stabbed during an early hours attack in his own home more than three years ago.

Nathan Jefferson, 20, of Springwell View, Holbeck, pleaded guilty to murdering 68-year-old Clement ‘Butch’ Desmier on Monday, but his admission could only be revealed yesterday after a Bradford Crown Court jury was told about it.

The prosecution has alleged that a second man, David Lawler, 33, of no fixed abode, was also involved in the murder at Mr Desmier’s home in Rowlestone Rise, Bradford, in August 2012.

Lawler has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and two offences of intimidation.

Details of the attack on Mr Desmier were revealed by prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC as he opened the case against Lawler.

The court heard Mr Desmier, who lived alone, had had a cushion pressed into his face and his body showed signs of more than 60 injuries caused by a screwdriver and a knife.

Mr MacDonald said a pathologist concluded Mr Desmier had died as result of being asphyxiated and repeatedly stabbed during a sustained violent assault.

The jury heard that neighbours had seen two men in dark clothing in the garden of Mr Desmier’s house and his home was later found to have been ransacked.

Mr MacDonald said the police inquiry had been a difficult one but over a period of time information began to emerge which implicated Lawler.

Lawler is alleged to have to confessed to his former partner, her friend and his own brother about his involvement in the murder.

Mr MacDonald told the jury: “He said he had covered the face of Butch Desmier with a cushion while Nathan Jefferson had stood in front of him stabbing Butch.

“He went on to say that Butch did not have a chance. He said that he had no blood upon him from this attack but that Nathan Jefferson was covered in blood.”

Lawler is alleged to have made threats to his former partner and the jury heard that she did not tell the police about his ‘confession’ until April last year.

The jury were told that just nine days after the killing of Mr Desmier Lawler used a Stanley knife to cut a man’s throat at a party.

Mr MacDonald said: “The prosecution position is that the fact that David Lawler committed that assault, with a knife, so closely in time with the attack upon on Butch Desmier demonstrates his tendency to become involved in violent attacks by means of bladed articles, such as knives,”

He said the attack on Mr Desmier was a joint one by Jefferson and Lawler in which there was the use of a knife and another bladed article in the form of a screwdriver.

Mr MacDonald told the jury: “The prosecution case is that these extensive admissions of participation in the murder of Mr Desmier are utterly overwhelming proof of the guilt of David Lawler.” The trial continues.