A MURDERER has admitted he was convicted over an earlier killing but has insisted “I didn’t do it”.
Mark Spalding is awaiting sentence over the stabbing of Andrew Lucas, who was killed outside a block of flats in Washington last November.
Spalding is facing a life sentence behind bars for Andrew’s murder, which he was convicted of after a trial.
But whether or not he has killed before will affect the length of time he must serve before being considered for parole.
A special hearing was held before Judge John Milford QC at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday to establish if the 45-year-old, of Kestrel Close, has been involved in an earlier death in Dubai.
Spalding admits he was convicted of being involved in the killing but claims he was later cleared.
Prosecutors claim Spalding was tried in the United Arab Emirates state over the murder of an Indian security guard in 1986 and faced the death penalty.
Christopher Smith, prosecuting, told the court Spalding was cleared of the murder charge but given 10 years for manslaughter.
The 10 years was on top of a seven-year sentence for burglary.
Prosecutors claim Spalding won an appeal against his sentence at the Supreme Court in Dubai and was released after about seven years.
Giving evidence from the witness box, Spalding denied he was ever accused of murder in the Arab state and said he had been convicted of a charge of being concerned in the death of another after being found not guilty of the original charge of manslaughter.
He denied ever facing the death penalty.
Spalding told the court he was freed after serving just over five years when his conviction was overturned “because I didn’t do it”.
He told Mr Smith: “If you investigated properly you would find out. Get in touch with the Dubai prison, I will give you the address, they will tell you when I was released.”
Spalding admitted he “sparked out” the security guard, who he claimed had been attacking his pal, but claims witnesses confirmed the stranger was alive when he left him.
He said: “I pulled a security guard off my pal, I punched him once, he went down. I got in the car, my mate drove me home and that is it.
“I punched him once, I sparked him. I punched the man to get him off my friend.”
Spalding said the guard, who was later found dead “obviously got run over” after he left him.
Spalding added : “I was released after five years and one month. I returned to the UK for two days and then went to live with my parents in Tenerife.”
Spalding said he came back to the UK in about 1994. Judge Milford will give his ruling and sentence Spalding for Andrew’s murder tomorrow.