Murder trial jury visit scene of death

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A JURY in the trial of a Sleaford teenager accused of killing a Coningsby man visited the alleged murder scene on Thursday.

David Cowley, 67, of Laythorpe Gardens is alleged to have been asphyxiated after driving the 17-year-old boy to an isolated spot known as Ballasts Pits, off Mareham Lane, on the outskirts of Sleaford.

After hearing two weeks of evidence at Lincoln Crown Court, the 12-strong jury was taken by bus to the remote location where it is claimed the 17-year-old killed Mr Cowley.

They were accompanied by court staff, barristers and the trial judge.

It is claimed that the boy, who can not be named for legal reasons, went to meet Mr Cowley, intending to rob and kill the homosexual pensioner.

The 17-year-old is then alleged to have driven off in Mr Cowley’s Smart car, which he abandoned after crashing it in Southgate, Sleaford.

He is also alleged to have stolen money, a mobile phone and a ring from Mr Cowley.

The boy, who is now 18 years old, denies the murder of David Cowley between November 15 and 18 2010.

The jury has been told he admits manslaughter.

As the trial continued on Monday, the jury heard that the 17-year-old had the blood of the dead man on his footwear and jacket.

Forensic scientist Helen Haworth said the right boot worn by the 17-year-old when he was arrested was later examined.

She said: “There was an area of blood staining found on the mid inner aspect of the boot.

“The blood matched the DNA profile of David Cowley.

“It would indicate that the side of the boot had been in contact with wet blood.

“There was no blood staining detected on the left boot.”

Mrs Haworth said she also examined a hooded jacket found during a search of the 17- year-old’s home.

She said: “I found a blood stain on the right sleeve.

“It matched the DNA profile of David Cowley.

“It appeared to have a diluted appearance and was slightly smeared.”

She said Mr Cowley’s blood was also found on both sleeves of the jacket.

Other blood stains were discovered but it was not possible to detect who they belonged to.

The jury has been told that there was frequent mobile phone contact between the 17-year- old and Mr Cowley on the evening before the pensioner is alleged to have met his death.

The pair exchanged 15 text messages in a 30 minute time frame, as well as a number of other messages during the evening.

The court has heard that Mr Cowley was openly gay.

The jury heard he had convictions from more than 30 years ago for gross indecency involving sexual acts with consenting adult males.

In 1977 Mr Cowley served a one-month jail term.

A second 17-year-old denies perverting the course of justice by disposing of Mr Cowley’s mobile phone and making a series of misleading statements to police between November 15 and 21.

The second boy has admitted handling the stolen mobile phone.

The trial continues.