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Man denies being at scene of attack

PUBLISHED: 12:15 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 July 2010

ONE of the men accused of murdering terminally ill Lowestoft man John Vry this week claimed he was smoking heroin at a friend's house at the time of the alleged attack.

ONE of the men accused of murdering terminally ill Lowestoft man John Vry this week claimed he was smoking heroin at a friend's house at the time of the alleged attack.

James Killingback told a jury that he had been in London Road South on the night that the 55-year-old was dragged into an alleyway and repeatedly kicked but denied being one of two men involved in the violence.

Killingback claimed that he had bought a £10 bag of heroin from a dealer and had then gone to a friend's flat to smoke it.

He denied that he was one of two men seen on CCTV footage with Mr Vry outside a shop in London Road South shortly before the alleged attack.

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

It has been alleged that Mr Vry, who was suffering from cancer, was “literally kicked to death” after being dragged into an alleyway by Killingback and the youth.

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, prosecuting.

On the evening of December 3 last year Mr Vry, who had formerly worked as an electrician and a shopkeeper, had left his home in London Road South to by some chips and after calling in at the shop to check the closing time he had gone to a nearby shop to buy tobacco.

Mr Khalil alleged that after leaving the shop he was confronted by Killingback and the youth and dragged into an alleyway.

There he was allegedly “felled” to the ground and held down while his head was repeatedly punched and kicked.

Mr Vry was taken to hospital but died from his injuries the following day, said Mr Khalil.

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

Giving evidence, Killingback admitted that he had convictions for assaulting his grandmother and his girlfriend but denied he had been the person responsible for “booting” Mr Vry in the head while his co-defendant held him down.

He told the court he had been with his co-defendant on the night of the attack but they had separated when he went to his friend's house to smoke heroin.

Simon Spence, for the 17-year-old youth, said he would not be calling him to give evidence.

Defence witness clinical psychologist Stephen Lovett told the court the youth had a below average IQ and suffered from a general impairment of his memory.

He said he disagreed with a psychiatrist who had stated the youth was of normal intelligence and did not have a learning disability.

The trial continues.

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