THE trial of two men accused of punching, kicking and knifing a friend to death at his South Yorkshire home has been adjourned for four months after one of the defendants fell ill.
John Dawson, aged 57, was found dead wrapped in a pink blanket in his house on Highstone Avenue, Barnsley, in February.
Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court heard he was repeatedly punched, kicked and had his head stamped on. He also suffered knife wounds to his hands.
His drinking pals Adrian Beevers, 41, of Dillington Road, Worsbrough Common, and Gary Evans, 43, of Cope Street, Worsbrough Common, were on trial jointly charged with murder.
They accept they were at the house, but each blames the other for the killing.
But on Monday night, before the second day of the trial, diabetic Beevers fell ill at Doncaster Prison and had to be taken to hospital.
Charles Garside QC, representing Beevers, told the court his condition was not life-threatening but that he will have to start injecting insulin.
“It will be impossible for him to manage his transition to insulin and a trial at the same time,” he said.
Discharging the jury, judge Mr Justice Openshaw said he was doing so with ‘great reluctance’.
“The defendant is likely to be an in-patient until Thursday and his prognosis thereafter is extremely unclear,” he said.
“I’m extremely sorry that this has happened.
“It isn’t anybody’s fault.”
A retrial will take place in November, Mr Justice Openshaw added.
Beevers and Evans were both remanded in custody.