Teenager de­nies any role in mur­der

Loughborough Echo - - NEWS - By Suzy Gib­son

A TEENAGER ac­cused of in­volve­ment in the mur­der of a stranger in a Shep­shed car park told a jury he had no idea his friend was go­ing to kill any­one.

Ma­son Casey (18) de­scribed flee­ing in panic when Mark Law got out of a car say­ing he had stabbed the driver, whom they had only just met.

The vic­tim, 45-year-old Tim Smith, who met Law via Badoo, a so­cial net­work­ing and dat­ing site, was stabbed through the heart by Law.

Law (20), of San­dring­ham Drive, Shep­shed, has pleaded guilty to mur­der­ing Mr Smith, of Tam­worth, Stafford­shire, and is await­ing sen­tence.

Casey, of Lud­low Place, Shep­shed, de­nies mur­der, and has been giv­ing ev­i­dence in his defence at Le­ices­ter Crown Court.

He told the jury that Law was a long-stand­ing friend, who oc­ca­sion­ally talked about “weird stuff” such as can­ni­bal­ism – which he never took se­ri­ously.

Casey, a labourer, said Law had pre­vi­ously talked of killing an­other man, Michael from Mans­field, whom he had also met on Badoo.

How­ever, he did not think he would re­ally carry out such a crime.

The man Michael never turned up for a meet­ing, just a few days be­fore Mr Smith was killed.

Casey said he had a girl­friend and was not in­ter­ested in men, but was aware that Law was bi­sex­ual.

He said he had no idea that Law had ear­lier sug­gested hav­ing “a three­some” to Mr Smith.

He said he ac­com­pa­nied Law to meet Smith, and had he known about the three­some idea he “wouldn’t have gone”.

Casey told the jury he was at Law’s house, on March 16 this year, play­ing on an Xbox when Law got a mes­sage from Tim Smith, a fork lift in­struc­tor, say­ing he was at the bot­tom of the road.

Casey’s bar­ris­ter, Robert Wood­cock QC asked: “Did he ask you if you wanted to come with him?” “Yes,” Casey said. Mr Wood­cock asked : “What were you wear­ing.”

Casey said: “My work clothes, my work boots.”

They met Mr Smith and got into his sil­ver Ford Fo­cus.

Law di­rected him to nearby Gelders Hall In­dus­trial Es­tate, where they parked up, at just after 8.30pm.

Casey told the jury: “I got out to do up my shoelaces.

“I’d grabbed my boots form Mark’s hall­way when we left and I hadn’t done them up prop­erly.”

Mr Wood­cock: “Why did you want to do them up at that time?”

Casey: “They were un­done and it was an­noy­ing.”

Mr Wood­cock: “Why did you think Mark wanted to meet Tim?” Casey: “I don’t know.” Mr Wood­cock: “You knew he had ear­lier sent Tim an in­de­cent pic­ture, did the pos­si­bil­ity of a sex­ual en­counter cross your mind?” Casey: “No.” Mr Wood­cock: “Had Mark men­tioned to you any­thing about a three­some?” “No,” said Casey. Casey went on to tell the jury: “He (Law) jumped out of the car and told me he’d stabbed Tim. “I pan­icked and I left.” He de­scribed run­ning off and Law over­tak­ing him.

He was aware of Law throw­ing some­thing and then hear­ing a splash, as he de­scribed Law dis­pos­ing of a knife into a nearby pond, where it was later re­cov­ered.

Mr Wood­cock said: “Did Mark say any­thing about tak­ing his knife out with him?” Casey: “No.” Mr Wood­cock: “Were you aware whether or not Mark had a knife on him when you left?”

“No,” said Casey, who went on to say he had not given any thought about whether Law was armed with a knife.

He said that he knew Law car­ried a knife on oc­ca­sions for his own pro­tec­tion.

After run­ning off, they went their sep­a­rate ways and Casey went home.

Mr Wood­cock asked: “How­ever weird or strange that Mark had ap­peared to be to you in var­i­ous con­ver­sa­tions did you ever be­lieve he was go­ing to kill any­one.” “No,” he said. The pros­e­cu­tion al­lege that Law and Casey were act­ing to­gether and the killing was planned.

The trial con­tin­ues.

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