John Littlewood murder trial: CCTV footage of last day victim seen alive played to jury

CCTV footage of the last day a dad-of-two was seen alive in public was played to a jury at a murder trial.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 5:20 pm

John Littlewood, 36, was found dead inside his home in Third Street, Blackhall Colliery, by his concerned on-off partner on July 30, 2019.

Prosecutors allege he was beaten to death in his own bed four days earlier by Marty Bates, 31.

Bates is on trial at Teesside Crown Court with his partner, Tracey Bunney, 45, who are both charged with murder.

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The trial into the murder of John Littlewood in Blackhall in summer 2019 is taking place at Teesside Crown Court.

It is alleged Bunney drove Bates to the back of Mr Littlewood’s home after midnight on July 26 so Bates could attack him.

Closed circuit camera footage of Mr Littlewood’s movements on July 25 from Third Street and a Peterlee convenience store was played to the jury.

It showed Bates and Bunney, both of Tenth Street, Blackhall, collect Mr Littlewood in their silver BMW on the morning to collect some clothes after splitting with his partner.

In the early evening, Bates, Bunney and Mr Littlewood attended a Premier shop, in Peterlee, when Mr Littlewood, who sometimes drank to excess, appeared to be unsteady on his feet.

Police carried out searches in the village as part of the investigation into the death of John Littlewood on Third Street, Blackhall Colliery.

Footage from Mr Littlewood’s street taken at about 10pm that day was also played to the jury when Bates, Bunney and another couple, James Riley and Donna Balfour, were with him in his house.

Prosecutor Richard Wright said it was the last time Mr Littlewood was seen on any CCTV.

It is alleged that later that night Bunney drove Bates from Riley and Balfour’s house in Ninth Street to the rear of Third Street where Bates attacked Mr Littlewood with a weapon.

He died after suffering devastating brain injuries.

Mr Wright said the shirt and trainers Bates wore that day were never found.

He said: “The forensic scientist who examined the scene considered the person who attacked and killed John Littlewood would have been heavily contaminated with his blood given the nature of the attack.”

Two days before Mr Littlewood’s body was found, it is alleged Bates was overheard saying to Bunney, Riley and Balfour: “I don’t know what you are bothered for ‘cos you didn’t even like him anyway.”

The prosecution claim it indicated Bates knew he was already dead.

The trial continues.

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