Murder accused jumped from window to get away from police after victim left for dead at roadside, court told

Two men accused of murder jumped out of a first-floor window in a bid to get away from the police after their victim was found dumped and left for dead at a roadside, a court heard.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 18 July, 2018, 16:06
Michael Price

Paul Watson and Christopher Hills had "encouraged" each other during a savage attack on Michael Price, who suffered 29 separate injuries, at a house then dragged him into the street and left him, jurors have been told.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he 36-year-old died in hospital 11 days after the attack in January, as a result of traumatic brain injury sustained during the beating.

Prosecutor Nick Dry told the court the men were linked to the attack, which happened at a house in Victor Street, Chester-le-Steet, within hours and traced to a nearby property in the same street.

When the pair realised detectives were at the door and about to force their way in, the court heard the men jumped together from a first-floor bathroom in a bid to get away.

Mr Dry told jurors: "It is a significant drop, which the prosecution say points to their determination, desperation in fact, to evade capture.

"They continued association following the fatal attack, which is also evidence they were in this together.

"They jointly attacked him as he lay defenceless on the floor, each encouraging each other, before then dragging him outside, dumping him in the street, leaving him for dead. Thereafter, remaining together, making no effort to help, jumping from that window together as the police broke the door down."

The court heard Mr Price was found in the street after the emergency services received an anonymous call at around 5.30am on January 13.

Mr Dry said: "They received an anonymous call, reporting the presence of a man lying on the road, on a residential area in Chester-le-Street.

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"The caller said the man did not appear to be breathing and that he had not moved."

The court heard the woman caller hung up before giving any further information.

When paramedics found him he was "badly beaten and initially thought to be dead" but was treated at the roadside and then transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle after a pulse was found.

He died in hospital on January 24.

Mr Dry told jurors the offence took place "within the context of a drugs background".

He told jurors forensic evidence indicates " a sustained attack" upon Mr Price in the front room of the house where he was beaten.

Mr Dry said Mr Price's blood was found on the alleged attackers' shoes and that their footwear left imprints on the victim's body and clothing.

Paul Watson, 30, of The Crescent, Chester-le-Street and Christopher Hills, 30, of Gregory Terrace, Houghton, both deny murder.

The trial continues.