Barnsley murder accused ‘set fire to his blood-stained clothes in underpass’

Police at Doreen Walker's home in Birkwood Avenue
Police at Doreen Walker's home in Birkwood Avenue
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A man accused of stabbing a pensioner to death burned his blood-stained clothes in an underpass a court heard.

On the night of the killing, Liam Naylor, aged 23, washed, changed, put his clothes in a plastic bag and set fire to them, a Sheffield Crown Court jury was told.

Liam Naylor

Liam Naylor

Naylor is accused of knifing his friend’s grandma 75-year-old Doreen Walker - to death at her home in Birkwood Avenue, Cudworth, on the evening of April 1.

She had just collected her pension and the prosecution say Naylor needed money to pay for a night out for his friends.

It is alleged he killed the mum-of-three between 9.30pm and 11.20pm.

Yesterday jurors heard evidence from Naylor’s friend Matthew Potter.

Matthew said he arrived at Liam’s home in Junction Street, near Barnsley town centre at about 10pm on April 1 and waited for him so they could go out drinking.

He said Liam arrived at 11pm and was ‘panicky’ and his jeans were ‘covered in a bit of blood’.

“I asked him what happened and he said he got attacked. He didn’t tell me by who and he didn’t tell me what had happened,” Matthew said.

Matthew said he helped clean blood off Liam’s hand and neck and then his bloody clothes were put in a plastic carrier bag.

He said: “I didn’t feel comfortable carrying the bag. I thought it was a bit strange.”

Matthew said he, Liam, their friend Brooklyn Smith and Doreen’s granddaughter Keeley Sweeney, walked into town to an underpass near the Alhambra Shopping Centre and he was asked to keep watch.

“The bag was put on the floor at the entry to the underpass and Keeley and Liam had pulled out a couple of lighters and they the set fire to the bag,” said Matthew.

Afterwards they went to the Chapter One pub and then McDonalds before getting a taxi back to Liam’s.

Asked by prosecutor Simon Waley what the atmosphere was like, Matthew said: “It seemed to be right chilled out, right calm and everything was fine.”

When they got back to Junction Street, he said Liam and Keeley wrote messages to each other on a mobile phone and passed the phone to each other before deleting them.

He said at 5am the next morning Liam and Keeley got up and left the house.

Witness Brooklyn Smith told the jury Liam told her he’d been in a fight and had knocked a man out.

Liam told her he’d been dragged out of a taxi and stabbed in the hand but turned the knife around and tried stabbing his attacker, before banging his head on the ground and knocking him unconscious.

She said Liam then told her the police had arrived and told him to walk away.

Naylor denies murder.

The trial continues.