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Court hears of accused dead or alive doubts

PUBLISHED: 09:27 13 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:38 06 July 2010

A MAN accused of murdering a terminally ill Suffolk man allegedly told a witness that he had attacked someone and wasn't sure if he was dead or alive, a court has heard.

A MAN accused of murdering a terminally ill Suffolk man allegedly told a witness that he had attacked someone and wasn't sure if he was dead or alive, a court has heard.

Michael Hicks told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that he had been on his way to buy a kebab on the evening of December 3 and had seen 22-year-old James Killingback, who he knew by the name of “Cat man”.

He claimed that Killingback told him, “I've sparked someone and I don't know if he's dead or alive.”

Mr Hicks had then gone to an alleyway off London Road South, Lowestoft and had seen 55-year-old John Vry lying seriously injured on the ground.

Mr Hicks said that when he spoke to a policewoman in the alley he told her that he had gone there after speaking to a man who said there was a man in an alleyway who needed attention.

Mr Hicks said he did not identified the man he had spoken to as “Cat man” because he didn't want to be accused of “grassing” him up. He said he only told the police that the man he had spoken to on the night of the alleged attack was “Cat man” after learning that Killingback had been arrested.

“I did it for the old man that died,” he said.

Cross-examined by Stephen Harvey, QC for Killingback, Mr Hicks said he was “110pc certain” that the man he had spoken to on the night in question was Killingback.

Killingback, now 23, of Denmark Road, Lowestoft and a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be identified because of his age, have denied murdering Mr Vry in December last year.

It has been alleged that the defendants kicked Mr Vry to death after dragging him into an alleyway.

Mr Vry, who was suffering from cancer, was seen holding on to a lamppost at the entrance of the alleyway trying to resist the men shortly before he was allegedly subjected to a violent attack during which he received repeated blows to his head.

Mr Vry, who was married with three children, had been given a life expectancy of between three and six months by doctors last summer and by the time of the alleged attack in December he was “plainly not a strong man”, said Karim Khalil, QC prosecuting.

Mr Vry was taken to hospital but died from his injuries in hospital the following day.

A post-mortem examination found that he had suffered a severe head injury which had caused brain damage and bleeding around the brain.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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