‘Murder victim’ found with sock stuffed in mouth

editorial image
editorial image
Have your say

A POLICE officer concluded that the death of a man who was found with a sock stuffed into his mouth and had extensive injuries to his head and blood-stained body was not suspicious, a murder trial heard.

A jury heard Kevin Childs, 58, was found face down on the floor of his flat with injuries to his face caused by multiple blows. A blood-stained fork at the scene also appears to have been used to scratch his face.

Evidence was also found which indicated that Mr Childs had been tied up with a belt.

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

Michelle Swayne and Andrew Gittins, both aged 41 and of no fixed address, are on trial at Leeds Crown Court where they plead not guilty to murder.

Christopher Tehrani, QC, prosecuting, told the Court: “The paramedics and social services employees were concerned about the cause of the death given the position Mr Childs was in - hands under his head with a duvet covering him - the facial injuries, the amount of blood present, the flat door had not been locked, due to what at least one of the neighbours had told them about the noises the previous evening which they believed came from the flat and the fact Mr Childs had not been in contact with social services that day which was not like him.

“The police officer who attended appears not to have shared those concerns.”

The court heard, as a result of the police officer’s conclusion, Mr Child’s body was taken to a mortuary at Pinderfields hospital, Wakefield, where it was to wait its turn for a standard post-mortem examination.

A pathologist noticed a sock in Mr Child’s mouth and decided that a standard post-mortem was not appropriate.

As a result a Home Office approved forensic consultant pathologist was contacted to conduct a full post mortem.

The pathologist found that the sock was deep within Mr Child’s mouth and had compressed the tongue to the back of the mouth.

Three of his teeth had also been knocked out.

There was also bruising, abrasions and other injuries to the head, face, inside the mouth and both arms and legs.

Mr Tehrani said the pathologist concluded that some of the injuries were consistent with “deliberate infliction of pain.”

The cause of death was suffocation and multiple injuries.

Police then returned to the flat on February 14 to examine the scene. Large blood stains were found on the wall and carpet.

A four-pronged fork was found in the bathroom basin which had Mr Child’s blood on it.

The telephone was disconnected and was found inside the lavatory. Swayne and Gittins, who are both alcoholics, were arrested four days later.

Gittins said he had difficulty recalling events and could not remember being at Mr Child’s flat.

Swayne gave a statement in which she stated that she was in the bedroom with Gittins at the flat when Mr Child’s asked them to leave.

She described how she then saw Gittins attacking Mr Childs in the living room.

Swayne said: “He carried on shouting and I punched him to quieten him down.

“He carried on shouting so I put a sock in his mouth to stop him making a noise.

“Andy pulled him to the floor and he ended up on his face at the side of the chair. Andy tied his hands and feet together behind his back. Kevin was now quiet. I checked his pulse and breathing and realised he was dead.

“At no time did I intend him to die or to cause him serious injury.”

The trial continues.

Cyber security firm ECSC has published its full year results

Cyber security firm ECSC reports a full year loss