Brunshaw double murder trial accused ‘copied’ beating of alleged accomplice

A second man accused of a double murder at Burnley told a jury yesterday (Thurs) he used violence on a 55-year-old to copy the actions of his companion.

Friday, 11th March 2011, 2:00 pm

Daniel Waddington claimed he saw Kenneth Howson hitting James Atkinson with a bottle in a bedroom and then copied this by hitting Neil Gilmore with a stick four or five times in the living room of the man’s home in Waddington Avenue, Burnley.

Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court, he said: “I was copying off Kenny because I was bladdered.”

But the 23-year-old said he stopped when Mr Gilmore told him “leave me alone”.

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Waddington, of Pine Street, Burnley, also told the court he didn’t kill Mr Gilmore, who was still alive when he went outside, to wait for Howson to leave the address last October.

The defendant accepted he had a number of convictions, mainly for breaches of court orders. He described Howson as someone he knew, though not one of his mates, and had heard rumours about how Howson’s mum was admitted to hospital at the end of last August.

On October 4th he had been at the Brunshaw shops with others and met Howson. Waddington said the other man asked him if he wanted to come “for a drink to Gilly’s?” and he decided to go along. They also ended up making two trips to buy alcohol.

He himself had a drink of whisky, something he wasn’t used to, and ended up feeling drunk. There was no trouble at Mr Gilmore’s address to start with.

Describing how trouble arose, the defendant claimed “Kenny hit Jimmy with a bottle in the bedroom. I saw and heard it. I was in the doorway.

“I ended up copying him, ended up hitting Gilly.”

Waddington said he had nothing against Mr Gilmore and had no intention to kill him or cause him serious harm. He said he hit him four or five times and the piece of wood snapped.

Waddington claimed Howson took the stick off him and he himself waited outside, feeling “gutted” about what he had done. Waddington insisted he had never gone into the bedroom or got involved in the attack on Mr Atkinson.

His barrister, Mr Jeffrey Samuels QC, said Howson went on to bury the bottle and stick and Waddington got rid of his clothes, because Howson told him to.

Waddington said he didn’t make any comment in police interviews as he had been scared and at no point in police cells had shouted out that he was involved in a murder.

The trial continues.

There’s more on this dramatic murder trial in Tuesday’s newspaper.