WARREN FREE MURDER TRIAL: ‘Girl defendant (14) is charming, lovely and naïve’

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.
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Jurors in the trial of six teenagers accused of the murder of Spalding man Warren Free were today (Tuesday) told that a 14 year old girl accused of the killing did not deliver any of the blows that led to his death.

Michael Evans QC, representing the girl, told the jury in his closing speech: “You have to decide the case on the evidence. Not on speculation, not on emotion, not on tragedy but on the evidence.

Kicking a fence does not make a 14 year old guilty of murder

Michael Evans QC

“It is a certainty that she did not deliver the blow or blows that killed Warren Free. She did not.”

He said his client had not been portrayed by the prosecution as either a main player or a leader in the events that resulted in the fatal incident.

Mr Evans told the jury: “She is a charming, lovely, young, naïve girl. She was young for her age and by far the most immature.”

The barrister said that the evidence was that the 14 year old girl was “terrified for her life” when Mr Free, armed with a metal pole, pursued her for 50 metres through the park known as Bumpies.

Mr Evans said the girl admitted that she had earlier been one of the defendants who kicked down Mr Free’s garden fence but he told the jury: “Kicking a fence does not make a 14 year old guilty of murder.”

He said there was not scientific or eye witness evidence to support a conviction for murder against his client and urged the jurors to acquit her.

Alistair Malcolm QC, for a 16 year old boy also accused of murder, said that the only evidence against his client came from another youngster who was originally arrested for murder but was later released without charge.

He told the jury: “The only source of evidence as far as he is concerned is that witness. If you take him away there is nothing.

“There is no evidence from any source that my client caused the fatal blow. There is no blood. There is no evidence of any footwear impression. There is not a single piece of scientific evidence against him. There is no telephone evidence. There is no social media evidence. There was no CCTV on Bumpies Field.

“The prosecution say that it was joint enterprise. There was no plan to attack Warren Free.”

The prosecution alleges 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 home 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.

A boy, who was 14 at the time, denies a charge of perverting the course of justice relating to the disposal of the metal pole in the Coronation Channel in Spalding. A second boy, aged 16 at the time, has admitted perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

Previously...

Cannot be proved that Edwards landed killer blow, says his solicitor