Prisoner tells Leeds murder trial jury he was not responsible for fatal attack on baby killer

Liam Deane
Liam Deane

A PRISONER accused of murdering a baby killer at Armley jail denied carrying out the fatal attack because other inmates "wanted him dead".

John Westland told a jury he had helped Liam Deane by trying to stop the bleeding to his neck before raising the arm.

-> Jury told man found dead in Leeds prison cell was convicted baby murderer

Convicted rapist Westland, 29, is a accused of murdering Deane in their shared cell at the Leeds prison on November 12 last year.

Jurors have been told Deane had been serving a life sentence for the murder of a child under one year old.

The prosecution claims Westland used a smashed aftershave bottle to attack Deane.

There is also evidence that Deane had been strangled.

Giving evidence, Westland said Deane was being bullied at the prison and had received death threats from other inmates.

Westland described how he and Deane would take the synthetic cannabis drug spice in their cell "every day".

The defendant said the two of them would sometimes share their supplies of the drug and had smoked it in the hours before Deane was found dead.

Westland said he got out of bed in the early hours of the morning and noticed that Deane's t-shirt was covered in blood as he lay on his bunk.

-> Revealed: Every Leeds takeaway and business with zero star food hygiene ratings

Westland said he saw blood coming from Deane's neck.

He described using a pair of tracksuit bottoms to try to stem the bleeding.

Westland's barrister, Simon Kealey, QC, asked: "Could you say how he came to be injured." He replied: "I don't know."

Mr Kealey also asked: "Did you assault Liam Deane that night?" Deane replied: "No."

The barrister continued: "Did you hit him with a piece of broken glass to the back of his head and face?"

Westland replied: "No"

During cross-examination, prosecutor Peter Moulson, QC, asked Westland why he had failed to answer any questions about the incident when interviewed by police.

Westland replied: "I didn't see why I had to."

The prosecutor asked Westland: "Did you kill him because others wanted him dead?"

-> Six fire engines and multiple police cars called to Leeds road

Westland replied: "No."

Mr Mouslon said: "You weren't doing anybody's bidding? There wasn't a price on his head?"

Westland replied: "No."

Westland pleads not guilty to murder.

The trial continues