Judge sums up in Everitt murder trial

Jurors in the Simon Everitt murder trial were told they have to consider five key questions before delivering their verdict.

Jurors in the Simon Everitt murder trial will have to consider five key questions before delivering their verdict, they were told today.

Beginning his summing up at Norwich Crown Court, High Court Judge Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said there could be no doubt that the 17-year-old engineering student had been murdered. The only issue remaining is to what extent each of the three defendants was involved.

He set out five questions which jurors must consider in relation to each of the three accused before deciding guilt:

t Did the defendant start the fire which killed Mr Everitt?

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t Was the defendant party to a plan to kill Mr Everitt?

t Was the defendant party to a plan to cause really serious harm to Mr Everitt?

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t Was the defendant party to a plan to assault him by pouring petrol and knew one of the co-accused might set light to it?

t Was the defendant present and encouraged another to do so?

Jimi-Lee Stewart, 25, has already admitted kidnap, while Jonathan Clarke, 19, and Maria Chandler, 40, deny the charge. All three deny murder. If any are cleared of murder, the jury must also decide on the kidnap charges and allegations of assisting an offender.

Mr Calvert Smith said there was no suggestion that Chandler had set fire to Mr Everitt. She claims she was forced to act as the driver and denies being present when he was killed.

Stewart told the court he went along with the plan to scare Mr Everitt but had no idea he was to be murdered.

Clarke denies any involvement and says he spent the night on which Mr Everitt was killed sitting alone on Yarmouth beach.

Mr Everitt's body was discovered in a swamp in Mautby woods in June last year. He had been beaten, tied to a tree, doused in petrol and set on fire.

He had been abducted after a row over Fiona Statham, a woman who had been dating Mr Everitt, Clarke and Stewart.

The jury is expected to consider its verdict tomorrow.

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