Murder case: Accused tells court victim was ‘a soft touch’

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A man accused of murdering another man, has admitted kicking and punching the victim but denied stabbing him.

At Preston Crown Court, Gary Burley (45) said he started the assault which saw Keith Passmore sustain more than 30 injuries.

But insisted he only punched Mr Passmore and landed a kick on his forehead before his pal, Paul Haworth (48), joined in, launching a frenzied attack with a knife and scissors.

Burley, a drug addict, said he had visited his friend to borrow money. Howarth was “a soft touch” and had bought him a KFC and booze before letting him stay at his flat in Clifton Road, Burnley.

The following morning, Burley was craving heroin but said he had taken Tramadol, an opiate based painkiller, to take the edge off it and started drinking with Howarth and Mr Passmore.

At one point, Mr Passmore stood up and said: “I used to be in the SAS.” Burley said he punched the 60-year-old back onto the bed – fearing Mr Passmore would hit him.

“It turned into a bit of anger. I wouldn’t say I lost my self control. I just did it. I kicked him four times in the forehead.

“Keith’s got his hand on his head and there’s a bit of blood in his eye. He’s got blood going down onto the sheets and then Paul starts punching him, like boom, boom, boom.”

“I went to the sink, looking for a towel and when I went back to the bedroom I pulled him off by his legs onto the ground. He’s on the ground and Paul starts stamping on him. He had the knife in his hand.

“He stabbed him with the blade and he cut him, then he threw the knife down and got the scissors, then he goes up to where his head is and stamps on his head.”

Howarth said he has no recollection of the attack and Burley denied spiking anyone’s drink.

Both deny murder and Burley making threats to kill.

(Proceeding)