A pensioner who wandered into a seafront house and climbed into bed thinking it was her B&B was discovered by the owner, dragged downstairs by her ankles and stamped on, a murder trial has heard.
Margaret Barnes, 71, suffered injuries similar to those expected in a ‘high speed road traffic collision’ and died soon afterwards on July 11 last year, Caernarfon Crown Court was told.
David Redfern, who had allegedly discovered the semi-naked intoxicated pensioner, denies murdering her outside his home in Barmouth, North Wales.
A jury heard Redfern, 46, who is 6ft 1in tall and weighed 21 stone, has ‘self-confessed’ anger management issues.
The court heard Mrs Barnes, from Birmingham, had been visiting friends in Barmouth when she went to a Spar shop on July 10 last summer.
There she bought some gin and at about 10pm she walked to the Wavecrest B&B – pulling her small suitcase on wheels and carrying her handbag.
But she ended up in Belmont House, a large five-storey townhouse which was on the same side of the street, but several doors down from the Wavecrest, the court heard. Belmont House was being renovated by Redfern and his partner Nicola Learoyd-Lewis.
Prosecutor Michael Jones KC said: ‘Mrs Barnes had been drinking and, whether she thought this was the Wavecrest, she went in and went to bed.
‘She mistook the defendant’s address for the B&B but it was a mistake which ultimately cost her her life.’
She went into an upstairs bedroom, took out her false teeth and put them on a bedside table and poured a gin into a glass while holding a bottle of tonic, the court heard.
The prosecution claim that when Redfern and Ms Leroyd-Lewis came in they found the ‘frail’ pensioner there ‘semi-naked on the side of the bed’ with her belongings strewn across the floor in a mess.
The court heard Redfern called Mrs Barnes a ‘thieving c***’ and dragged the seven-and-a-half stone woman downstairs by her ankles and stamped on her outside.
The jury was told that Redfern was heard saying: ‘It probably didn’t do her the world of good me dragging her down the stairs by her ankles.’
Later, he told police she had been aggressive to him, the court heard.
Her suitcase on wheels had been hurled onto the street and Redfern is alleged to have mocked the injured woman as she tried to gather her possessions into her case while on her hands and knees.
But he told officers he didn’t know who had thrown the suitcase, jurors heard.
Emergency services were called and a neighbour was told to perform CPR but she developed breathing difficulties and succumbed to her injuries.
The prosecution said it was ‘obviously surprising’ for Redfern to find an older frail woman in one of his beds but ‘what followed next was appalling’.
Mr Jones said: ‘However unexpected her presence was Mrs Barnes sustained ”catastrophic, fatal and brutal injuries at the hands of the defendant” who is a bully’.
Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers found Mrs Barnes died from severe blunt force trauma. There were rib fractures and a fractured neck, consistent with being dragged down the stairs, say the prosecution.
The prosecutor said a kick or stamp outside the Belmont House caused a ruptured liver and one litre of blood in her abdomen.
Mr Jones said the defendant had used ‘vicious and intentional violence and language’ and by acting out of temper or gratuitously was ‘guilty of her murder’.
He claims Mrs Barnes had ‘lunged’ towards his girlfriend in the bedroom and he intervened because he thought his girlfriend was in ‘danger’, by ‘bear hugging’ Mrs Barnes off the premises.
The three-week trial is being heard by judge Mr Justice Bourne KC. Redfern denies murder and manslaughter. The trial continues.