Victim cried ‘I’m sorry’ as he was beaten to death, court told

VICTIM ... John 'Jonty' Hall.
VICTIM ... John 'Jonty' Hall.
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JOHN “Jonty” Hall cried out “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” as he was beaten to death with a baseball bat, a court heard.

Nicholas Rought, accused of the 46-year-old’s murder, then shouted out “that’s for putting my dad in jail” as repeated blows were heard.

Yesterday, a trial into the murder of Mr Hall heard evidence from Elizabeth “Betsy” Moan who sat just metres away as the attack was carried out.

She said: “I could hear thuds, but I did not know if it was fists, feet or what was causing them.

“I could hear Jonty saying ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’.

“I was told not to dare turn around. I just kept staring at the TV.”

Dad-of-two Mr Hall, had his throat cut, was stabbed with a fork and sustained multiple wounds to his body, hands, penis and testicles after a night drinking at Ms Moan’s home in Mill Terrace, Shiney Row, on Saturday, September 14, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

Nicholas Rought, 45, of Princess Street, Shiney Row, and Stuart Smith, 42, of no fixed address, are both standing trial accused of his murder.

The court was told Mr Hall had been drinking with the pair, as well as Colin Brown and Paul Tate, at the home Ms Moan shared with Tate on the evening of the alleged murder.

Ms Moan described how an argument then broke out in the living room of the house between Mr Hall and Smith.

She said: “Stuart punched him in the face, then Jonty said something else and Stuart punched him on the other side of the face.

“Jonty stood up and he was bleeding. He walked into the dining room, and Stuart and Nicky went in after him.

“I told Paul to go in and break it up, but he came back out saying they wouldn’t let him.

“Paul said to me ‘don’t dare turn around’, and then I just heard thuds.” When asked how long the attack lasted, she added: “It seemed like it lasted for hours, and then I just remember Jonty sighing and a big breath coming out of him, and I thought they’d killed him.”

Ms Moan told prosecutor John Elvidge QC that she understood Rought’s reference to his father being “put in jail” related to him blaming Mr Hall for his dad being sent to prison where he subsequently had his “throat cut”.

The court was then told how the dining room in Ms Moan’s home was then redecorated with a fresh coat of paint to cover the blood-spattered walls, while the carpet was lifted and dumped.

Mr Hall sustained 14 fractures on the right side of his ribs and six on the left, and he had suffered at least 10 blows to the face with a baseball bat.

Paul Tate, of Cambridge Road, Silksworth, was also charged with Mr Hall’s murder but committed suicide while on remand in Holme House Prison, Stockton, on Friday, September 27.

The case continues.