David Wilson murder trial: Sunderland grandad could have been 'grudge attack' victim

David Wilson was found dead at his home.
David Wilson was found dead at his home.

A murdered dad who was found dead in his bed could have been the victim of a violent "grudge" attack, jurors have heard.

David Wilson, 49, was repeatedly stabbed at his home in Southwick, Sunderland, in the early hours of December 14 2014.

Daniel Johnson is on trial for his murder at Newcastle Crown Court but has not given any evidence from the witness box.

Prosecutors claim Johnson mugged Mr Wilson's partner in the street and used his key to get into the couple's flat, where he carried out the killing.

Jurors have heard that Johnson claims "it wasn't me".

During his closing speech to the jury, Toby Hedworth QC, who defends the 20-year-old, said: "We would submit to you on Daniel Johnson's behalf, what he says by way of his plea of not guilty, is that whoever Mr Wilson's attacker was, 'it wasn't me'.

"What we submit is that the attack bears all the hallmarks of someone with a grudge for Mr Wilson, someone who has deliberately gone to that room to attack him, someone who was, for whatever reason, angry with David Wilson."

Mr Hedworth said the police inquiry into Mr Wilson's death uncovered other potential suspects for the killing.

He added: "It is our case that such a person was certainly not Daniel Johnson."

Mr Hedworth said a defendant's decision to not give evidence can, in some circumstances, prompt a jury to "draw an inference" in support of the prosecution's case.

But Mr Hedworth said such an inference should only be drawn if the prosecution case is of such strength that it requires and answer and added "we say, it is not".

Mr Hedworth said Johnson risked being branded a liar if he had gone into the witness box, as a result of his criminal record and would have had to prove why he is innocent, rather than the prosecution proving guilt.

He added: "You are damned if you do, you are damned if you don't."

Johnson, of Mulberry Gardens, Gateshead, denies murder.

The trial continues.