A witness has told the Warren Free murder trial how the victim returned to his home covered in blood after going outside to challenge a gang of noisy teenagers who were damaging his fence.
The witness, who cannot be identified, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court: “He had blood on his nose. He said these kids had thrown stuff at his fence. He had a black eye. His face was covered in blood and he had blood on his T-shirt. He said there were eight kids. They were all under 18.”
The witness said that Warren Free had spent the day with two mates at his home but after the men left he was disturbed by noise coming from the park at the back of his home in Coronation Close, Spalding.
The jury has been told that Mr Free returned home first for a digital device with the aim of taking photographs of the youths and then came back for a metal pole which he took to the park.
The prosecution allege that Mr Free (43) was then attacked and knocked to the ground before the metal pole was used to beat him about the head.
The witness said: “He’d always had the pole. He was kind of paranoid that someone will come and attack him.”
He had blood on his nose. He had a black eye. His face was covered in blood and he had blood on his T-shirt
On the third day of the trial witness Ashley Stafford told the jury how he heard noise in the early hours of the morning from a group of youths at the junction of Thames Road and Severn Road and was so concerned he rang the police.
Mr Stafford said: “I was in the house with a friend. We were awake. I heard people walking about. We didn’t think anything of it. To begin with we ignored the noise. Then the noise got more. We thought a girl was being raped. That’s why we called the police.
“I looked out of the window. It was pitch black – just street lamps. I wasn’t able to see anybody. Then after all the commotion we saw people. I saw four people go one way and then two girls and a bloke go the other way.”
Earlier the prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC said that police attended in response to the call and stopped three of the youngsters including Jake Edwards and the two female defendants. At the time officers had no knowledge of the incident with Mr Free. Edwards admitted he had been noisy and had been in the park but when he was checked he had no injuries and there were no signs that he had been fighting.
He was allowed to go on his way and the two girls were taken to the home of one of them.
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.