‘Murder trial couple had sex as man died’

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A couple on trial for murder had sex after a man was fatally attacked in his own home, a jury heard.

Michelle Swayne told a court how she scratched Kevin Childs’s face with a fork and stuffed a sock in his mouth during the incident at his home in Wakefield.

Swayne, 41, described how her partner, Andrew Gittins, punched Mr Childs and tied him up using wires before they went into a bedroom to have sex.

The mother-of-six said Mr Childs, 58, was dead when they returned to untie him.

Swayne and Gittins, also 41, are on trial at Leeds Crown court where they plead not guilty to murder.

The jury has heard Mr Childs was found face down on the floor of his flat with multiple injuries. A blood-stained fork was found at the scene.

Mr Childs was found dead in the ground floor of his flat at Park Lodge Lane, Eastmoor, by a community psychiatric nurse who went to check on him on February 7 this year.

A sock was deep within Mr Child’s mouth and had compressed the tongue to the back of the mouth.

The cause of death was suffocation and multiple injuries.

The jury heard Swayne and Gittins were homeless alcoholics and Mr Childs had allowed them to stay at his home.

Giving evidence, Swayne said Gittins attacked Mr Child after getting him in a headlock when he asked the pair to leave.

She said Mr Childs began shouting for help and Gittins held him down in a chair.

Swayne told the court she then got a fork from the kitchen drawer and scratched Mr Childs’s face.

When asked by her barrister, Daniel Janner, QC, why she did it, she replied: “I told him ‘next time you think about little girls, just look in the mirror.’”

Mr Janner asked: “Did you scratch him more than once.” Swayne replied: “Yes.”

The barrister asked: “Then what happened?” She said: “He was still making noises. That’s when I put the sock in his mouth - to keep him quiet.”

Swayne told the jury that she had sex with Gittins in the bedroom before they returned to untie Mr Childs.

She said she noticed Mr Childs’s legs were “floppy” as Gittins was doing so. She said: “I said ‘Andy, he’s dead.”

Mr Janner asked: “When you joined in with Andy attacking Kevin, did you intend to kill him.”

Swayne said: “No, I just wanted him to be quiet.”

The trial continues.

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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