The six teenagers accused of the murder of Spalding man Warren Free have each chosen not to give evidence in their trial before a jury at Lincoln Crown Court.
Barristers representing the six each this afternoon (Monday) told the jury that their clients would not be going into the witness box to give evidence.
He is a very intelligent, confident and co-operative young man who takes his school work seriouslyTutor of 14-year-old murder accused
Timothy Spencer QC, representing a boy who was 14 at the time of the incident, told the jury that his client had convictions for two offences of dishonesty at the South Lincolnshire Juvenile Court but he had no previous convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings for anything to do with violence.
The jury had previously been told that others in the dock also had no previous convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands.
A character reference read to the jury for a boy of 14 accused of both murder and perverting the course of justice described him as “a very talented musician” and a “happy, friendly, helpful, normal teenage boy”.
In a second reference the boy’s tutor said: “He has a very positive attitude to learning. He is a very intelligent, confident and co-operative young man who takes his school work seriously.”
A reference on behalf of a girl, who was 14 at the time of the incident, from her father said: “She is kind, considerate, caring and gentle. I am proud to call her my daughter.”
The jury was also told in written admissions that a key juvenile witness who was initially arrested for murder but not charged spoke to two girls after he was released on bail. Andrew Jefferies QC, for Jake Edwards (18), said it was an agreed fact that the witness told each of the girls that Edwards knocked Mr Free to the ground at the start of the incident and then punched him twice but each made no further mention of Edwards doing anything else.
The prosecution allege that 43 year old Mr Free suffered fatal injuries after he confronted a group of teenagers in the early hours of the morning about noise they were making in a park at the rear of his property in Coronation Close, Spalding.
It is alleged that Mr Free was kicked, punched and stamped on by the teenagers before a 15 year old 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 Wednesday.