South Yorkshire murder accused ‘lies at every opportunity’

John Heald
John Heald
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A Rotherham man who claims he accidentally stabbed and trod on the face of a landlady ‘lies at every opportunity,’ a court heard.

John Heald claims he ‘panicked’ after hearing male voices at the front door of the Morayland Hotel in Bridlington where he’d gone after allegedly raping a woman in Sheffield.

He told Hull Crown Court one of the men said he’d got a knife and would ‘slash him up’ so he armed himself with a saw knife he’d brought to the hotel.

Explaining the moment he killed landlady Bei Carter, he said: “I got to the end of the landing, looked down, couldn’t see anybody. Next thing I got tapped on the shoulder, I turned round, the lady was just stood there, she grabbed the knife. She was pulling one way, I was pulling the other way.”

Heald was unable to explain the three shoemarks on Mrs Carter’s face, saying he had ‘stumbled’ on her.

Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, said: “You lie at every opportunity and when you are found out you tell more lies.

“You weren’t in a panic at all. Whilst you were on the run from the consequences of having raped (another woman) you were at the B&B and you met Mrs Carter and attacked her as well.

“You were pretty out of control by then. You were drinking vodka, beer, all this pent up inside you. Mrs Carter got in the way, didn’t she?”

Heald, of Foljambe Road, Rotherham, denies murder and three counts of rape. The case continues.