April 23 2014 Latest news:
by Zjan Shirinian
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
A woman accused of murdering a young man after a teenager branded him a rapist told the Old Bailey she had no idea he was going to be killed.
Emma Hall, 21, claimed she was sat in her car while 18-year-old Luke Harwood, was led into a field off Broadmead Road in Woodford Green and kicked to death.
She told jurors her housemate James Danby, 27, returned about 15 minutes later and confessed: “I’ve killed him, treacle.”
Hall added: “He said he stamped on Luke’s head 20 times until it popped.
“I was shocked. First of all I didn’t believe it. I just felt like my heart stopped.”
She said Danby had blood spattered all over his jeans, top and hands.
Hall told jurors Luke had only moved into her home, in Crow Lane, Romford, earlier that day on May 27.
But an 18 year-old girl, who visited the flat, said Luke had raped her - claims later withdrawn.
Danby then became angry and started attacking Luke in his room, the court heard.
Hall said: “I was scared, I was shaking all over, I couldn’t even speak properly.
“I was too scared to phone the police.”
She claimed Danby ordered her to take him, Luke and Tony O’Toole to Epping Forest.
Danby then changed his mind and directed them to Woodford Green, the court heard.
Hall said: “I looked in the mirror and I could see Luke’s face was red and swollen and he had lumps on his jaw. I didn’t see blood.”
Hall said she waited in the car while Danby, Luke and O’Toole walked off down a path towards what she thought was a housing estate.
She added: “I thought he was just going to be dropped off somewhere.”
Asked if she had any idea what was going to happen, she replied: “No not at all.”
Hall, Danby, O’Toole, 29 and Jovan Roberts, 28, deny murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Hall, Danby and O’Toole, along with Duggan, 21, and Khalid Hassan, 20, deny perverting the course of justice.
All the defendants lived in Crow Lane, except Roberts, who is of no fixed address.
The cause of a huge fire in a shed that spread to a house and garage in Redbridge is under investigation.