One of the teenagers accused of murdering Spalding man Warren Free admitted he suggested that a metal pole used to attack the 43 year old should be thrown away to avoid the chance of police finding any fingerprints, a jury was told today (Thursday).
The boy, who was 14 at the time of the incident, told officers that when he walked from the scene with his co-defendants he noticed the 15 year old girl who struck Mr Free with the pole still had the weapon in her hands.
I felt very guilty that I didn’t do enough to stop it. I didn’t do anything to reduce Warren’s injuriesBoy defendant, who was 14 at the time
The jury at Lincoln Crown Court heard that the boy told police: “I said ‘I think someone should throw the pole away because of fingerprints’.”
Det Con James Stevenson, one of the officers who interviewed the boy at Boston Police Station, told the jury that the boy then said the weapon was handed by the girl to another defendant who threw it in the river.
The boy denied he was involved in any violence during the incident in a park at the rear of Coronation Close in Spalding.
In a subsequent interview his legal representative handed police a pre-prepared statement in which he stated: “I did not kick or otherwise assault Warren Free in any way.”
Det Con Stevenson said that in later questioning the boy said: “I felt very guilty that I didn’t do enough to stop it. I didn’t do anything to reduce Warren’s injuries and afterwards I did nothing to help. I didn’t contact anyone to help Warren.”
The defendant said to have thrown the metal pole into the river after allegedly joining into the attack on Mr Free told police that he was not involved in the assault.
The boy, who was 16 at the time, gave a statement to police in which he said: “I accept I was in the presence of a group of people and an assault took place on the victim. I was in no way involved. When the incident took place I was a distance of 50 metres away from the victim. I did not approach the victim and did not get involved.”
The prosecution allege that Mr Free was kicked, punched and stamped on by the group of six teenagers before a girl struck him over the head several times with a metal pole.
He went home to bed but friends were later unable to rouse him. An ambulance was called and he was airlifted to hospital but passed away within 24 hours from a head injury.
Six teenagers all deny the murder of Warren Free on August 29, 2014. Three of the defendants, including a girl, were 14 at the time while the others were a girl of 15 and a 16 year old together with Jake Edwards, now 18.
Two of the boys, who were 14 and 16 at the time, each deny a charge of perverting the course of justice relating to the disposal of the metal pole in a nearby waterway.
The trial continues on Monday.