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Murder trial: defendant wanted to scare victim

PUBLISHED: 07:29 09 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 July 2010

Simon Everitt

Simon Everitt

A defendant in the Simon Everitt murder trial poured petrol on his victim to scare him but did not intend to kill, his mother told Norwich Crown Court yesterday.

A defendant in the Simon Everitt murder trial poured petrol on his victim to scare him but did not intend to kill, his mother told Norwich Crown Court yesterday.

Following the killing - in which 17-year-old Mr Everitt was beaten, tied to a tree, doused in petrol and set alight - in June last year, accused Jimi-Lee Stewart confessed his part in the crime to his mother Susan Lewis.

Ms Lewis recalled how he had broken down in tears as he described the attack. She said: “He admitted to kicking Simon but then Munch (Jonathan Clarke) did the rest.

“He said he gave Simon a kicking and poured petrol on him to scare him. As he was walking away Munch lit the match.

“I believed my son when he swore to God that he had no idea that he was going to light the match.”

The court has already heard that Stewart and Clarke, who are accused along with Maria Chandler, had been in relationships with the same girl as Mr Everitt. They had planned the attack out of jealousy.

Ms Lewis said that Stewart had never deviated from this version of events.

He told her that if he was arrested he would tell police what he had done but would not hand himself in. Ms Lewis decided she had to tell investigators what he had done. He was arrested the next morning.

Her then partner Alastair Robson also heard Stewart's confession. Referring to Clarke lighting the match, he said: “He couldn't believe what had happened. He was in quite a state and was crying uncontrollably when he told us. It was unusual to see him like that.”

Later Simon Tate, a friend of Chandler, told the court she had written a letter outlining her involvement in the alleged murder. In it she said she had been coerced into acting as the driver and had seemed frightened.

This letter was given to her solicitor to be passed to police but officers never received it.

Mr Everitt's body was found in a swamp near Mautby woods, outside Yarmouth, in June last year following a missing persons inquiry.

Clarke, 19, from Telford, Stewart, 25, from Nelson Road Central, Yarmouth, and Chandler, 40, from Lancaster Road, Yarmouth, all deny murder.

The case continues.

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