Alleged Sunderland murderer describes attack by tattooed man

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A CARER accused of murdering a pensioner told jurors yesterday “she was like a nana to me”.

Beverley James, aka Briggs, is accused of beating and suffocating Harriet Davison at her sheltered accommodation flat at Emblehope House, Sunderland, in July last year.

But the 39-year-old told Newcastle Crown Court: “I didn’t kill her.”

James, of Springwell Road, Sunderland, who has no convictions, denies murder.

The mum-of-three told jurors yesterday how both she and Mrs Davison were attacked by a tattooed intruder inside the third-floor flat.

James told the court the stranger pounced after she had hugged Mrs Davison goodbye that day and was about to leave the flat.

She said during the assault she ended up lying on top of the pensioner.

She told the court: “He just kept pushing and kept pushing. She was saying ‘what are you doing, what are you doing?’.

“I was kicking out, just kicking out.

“He was hitting, me and Harriet.”

James said she saw the attacker hitting the pensioner on the head with a radio.

She added: “I was just lying on top of Harriet. I can’t even remember screaming.

“She was just crying out ‘what are you doing?’. She must have heard him because she said ‘who is he? who is that with you?”

James said during the attack the bald raider shoved a stocking in her mouth, made her wear a pair of rubber gloves, put wire around her neck and forced her into the bedroom where he made her have a cigarette and blow smoke on him.

She also gave jurors a description of the attacker, saying: “He was bald, he had a tattoo.

“He was wearing a blue T-shirt with a Sunderland logo on it and a pair of white trainers.

“He had a flat nose.”

James denied she had snapped and lost her temper with Mrs Davison, then carried out the killing herself.

And she denied prosecution claims she stole money from Mrs Davison.

James told jurors: “She would’ve known. Harriet would’ve known if any money was missing, Harriet would’ve known.”

She told the court Mrs Davison could be “cantankerous” but she added: “I just got used to her. We just gel, we started to gel together.”

James said she had started looking after Mrs Davison in October 2007 and by the time of her death thought of her as a “nana” and would exchange Christmas presents with her.

James denies murder.

The trial continues.