Victim kicked and punched - jury told

PUBLISHED: 13:36 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 May 2010

Murder victim Darren Knight

Murder victim Darren Knight

AN Old Bailey murder trial was told that a man was punched and kicked while he was lying senseless on the ground. And the man accused of murdering 37-year-old Darren Knight then drove away from the scene, it was alleged. Ian Wade, prosecuting, told the ju

AN Old Bailey murder trial was told that a man was punched and kicked while he was lying senseless on the ground.

And the man accused of murdering 37-year-old Darren Knight then drove away from the scene, it was alleged.

Ian Wade, prosecuting, told the jury that Graham Willis was arrested days later and charged with the murder of Mr Knight in Jepps Lane, Royston, on October 8 last year.

Willis, 45, of Guiness House, Little Hardings, Welwyn Garden City, denies the charge.

Mr Wade said Willis's daughter, Laura Willis, had been out drinking with her sister and a cousin at the Old Post Office pub in Royston. There had been an incident and later in Jepps Lane, Laura thought she recognised Mr Knight as being the man involved.

"She remonstrated with Darren Knight and there came a moment when she inflicted a blow on his chin causing a cut," said Mr Wade.

He said the incident "fired" Laura up and she called Willis to "come and sort it out".

Willis arrived to confront Mr Knight in Jepps Lane. "He was determined to avenge or protect the well-being of Laura. He was deeply sensitive as she had just come out of prison," said Mr Wade.

He said Mr Knight raised his hands in a sort of peace-keeping gesture and said he did not want any trouble.

"But Willis did want trouble. He lunged towards him and delivered two heavy blows," said Mr Wade.

"He then delivered more punches and kicks to the senseless Mr Knight as he was on the ground."

Mr Wade added that Willis took both his daughters to their home in Milton Close, Royston.

A witness, Richard Gutteridge, said he heard a screech of tyres and saw a car arrive on the scene. "As I was approaching the driver was pushing two girls into the back of the car. He looked very annoyed."

Another witness, Lee Cook, told the jury he had seen Willis drive his Rover car into Jepps Lane.

"The car drove up and kind of hit his (Mr Knight's) legs and made him stumble and he had to put his hands on the bonnet to stabilise himself."

He said the driver got out and lunged at Mr Knight. "He punched the man who had been struck by the car. It was quite aggressive."

The case continues.

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