A Sheffield murder victim was kicked, punched and stamped on before having his throat cut and his house set on fire in a row over a smelly dog, a court heard.
Cy Cooper, aged 44, of Bluebell Close, Wincobank, was set upon by Paul Cain, aged 24, on July 29 last year, Sheffield Crown Court was told.
Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, said a boozed-up Cain had started ‘ranting and raving’ about Mr Cooper after Mr Cooper’s nephew and former flatmate, Dwayne Cook, had moved in with him.
Mr Reeds said Mr Cook had gone to live at Cain’s home with his dogs, ‘who were causing a smell’.
The court heard that on the day of Mr Cooper’s death, Cain had said he was going to visit him to ask if Mr Cook and his dogs could move back in with him instead.
The jury was told Cain’s aunt, Mary O’Neil, his cousin, Thomas Cain, and Dwayne Cook, all went over to Mr Cooper’s flat shortly after the defendant had set off.
When they arrived, they said they saw Cain standing over an injured Mr Cooper in the hallway.
Mr Reeds said: “The three eyewitnesses then ran back to their house followed shortly by Cain.
“It is the same account from all three that Cain came in with blood on his T-shirt making threats not to grass on him.”
The court heard that Cain and his cousin Thomas ran back to the flat after Cain said: “I’ve lit it.”
Mr Reeds QC said: “Emergency services who arrived initially thought Paul and Thomas had rescued Cy Cooper. One of the men started to perform CPR on Mr Cooper, Thomas Cain said it was him.”
On Mr Cooper’s injuries, Mr Reeds said: “He was assaulted by punching, kicking and stamping. All his ribs were broken. His jaw was fractured in two places. His eye socket was fractured through repeated stamping.
“A post-mortem examination found a 10cm laceration where somebody had slashed his neck when he was dead or close to death.
“This was an intention to kill Cy Cooper. After killing him the assailant set fire to the flat to destroy evidence and at the time the fire was set, Mr Cooper was already dead. Reports show Mr Cooper had not inhaled any smoke from the fire.
“Fire officers have also said the blaze was deliberately ignited from combustible materials in the hallway.”
The jury was told Crime Scene Investigation officers later found a bloodstained T-shirt in a washing machine with Mr Cooper’s blood on it.
It is the prosecution’s case that the clothes obtained from Cain matched those he was seen wearing on CCTV footage at a shop the night before Mr Cooper was killed.
Mr Reeds said: “Dwayne Cook, Mary O’Neil and Thomas Cain all gave accounts to the police that Paul Cain was responsible for the death of Cy Cooper at his flat.
“It is with these three eyewitnesses and the substantial forensic evidence, that Cain is responsible for Mr Cooper’s death.”
Cain, of no fixed address, denies murder.
The trial continues.