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Liam Holden murder: Father of accused Wood brothers gives evidence
THE father of two brothers standing trial for murder said he was "conned" into making a witness statement by police.
Marlon Wood appeared as a witness on day four of the trial at Chelmsford Crown Court where his sons, Ryan 21, and Owen, 24, are charged with murder.
The man from Chadwell St Mary claimed he had not been told he was making a witness statement when speaking to officers at Tilbury police station on March 11, despite signing a declaration.
When the statement was read back to him in the run up to his appearance at court, he argued that he did not agree with parts of the statement that referred to what Owen and Ryan had said to him in the days after the incident.
Liam Holden, 35, was killed at the entrance to Morrisons car park on London Road, Grays, as he left the Euro Lounge club with his partner in the early hours of Sunday, March 10.
Mr Wood, who is unable to read or write, repeatedly told the court he had been “conned” into making a statement. He said he was unaware that it was a witness statement he had made. He said: “I was taken to Tilbury police station. I remember talking to the police but they didn’t say it was a witness statement.”
Under cross-examination from Andrew Jackson QC, for the prosecution, Mr Wood agreed the two men had come back to his house - where they also lived - at around 6am on March 10 and woke him up. He said Owen went straight to bed and Ryan had a girl with him who he did not recognise and they went to Ryan’s room.
He agreed both men were both drunk, but claimed nothing was said to him by either of them But Mr Jackson put to Mr Wood that he had said to police: “Owen just went into the living room and went to sleep on the sofa. Ryan however tried to tell me they had been in a fight and something dreadful had happened. I told Ryan that I didn’t really want to know.”
In court, Mr Wood responded: “Ryan went straight to his room so I don’t know where that bit has come from.”
Mr Jackson also quizzed Mr Wood on a phone call his youngest son had received from Owen. Mr Wood said he had spoken to Owen but “couldn’t remember what was said”.
Again referring to conversations with police in the days after the incident, Mr Jackson read: “At some stage, my other son received a call from Owen. I took the phone to try and speak with Owen. He refused to speak to me at any length but he did say ‘you are never going to see me again’ and hung up.”
Neither of the defence counsels disputed those conversations had happened between their clients Owen and Ryan and their father, but simply that the conversation with Ryan had happened a day later, not at 6am on March 10.
At court on Wednesday afternoon, forensic pathologists gave evidence. After some dispute surrounding how Mr Holden suffered the fatal blow - and whether they were caused by blows to his head while he was standing or while he was lying on the ground - experts agreed multiple blows to Mr Holden's face and head had led to his death.
He died from complex brain damaged.
Dr Benjamin Swift, the pathologist who carried out the post-mortem, found 31 injuries, some caused during the incident, while it is thought some other, minor bruises could have occured up to a week earlier.
Both Owen and Ryan deny the charge. The trial continues.