Nuneaton News Court hears accused’s interviews
THE man accused of murdering Nuneaton mum Dionne Clark told police that his co-defendant had attacked her while he was in the bath, a court has heard.
Dominic Wallis told detectives that he could hear arguing downstairs at his home and when he went to investigate he found 27-year-old Miss Clark nearly unconscious and taped to a pouffe.
The 28-year-old’s police interviews were read out to a jury at Birmingham Crown Court where he and Elizabeth Ellis both stand accused of killing Miss Clark, a mum of four, in June this year.
In the interviews he told police that he cut Miss Clark free and put her in the recovery position, before finding her dead the next morning.
The jury was taken through Dominic Wallis’ interviews that came after he was arrested on June 20 on suspicion of murder. Before the first interview, Dominic had been informed that 20-year-old Ellis – known as Libby - had blamed him for Miss Clark’s death in her police interviews. In response he described her version of events as “completely false”.
Dominic told police that he, Ellis and Miss Clark were having a “sesh” at his house in Cornish Close on the night of Friday, June 16, before he went upstairs for a bath. “While in the bath I heard shouting going on and shouted down ‘what’s going on’ and Libby shouted ‘nothing,’” he said in interview.
When asked what may have sparked an argument between Ellis and Miss Clark, Dominic told detectives that earlier in the night Ellis had told Miss Clark to stop staring at him in a “sexual way”.
He added that when he went downstairs he found that Ellis had “tied Dionne up and bound her and put a thing over her mouth”. Dominic described Miss Clark as being taped to a pouffe in the front room and having a black eye and a “bloody nose”.
The court is told that Ellis was saying to Dominic to “leave her, leave her” and Ellis was angry with Miss Clark as she would drive them to get more crack cocaine, according to Dominic’s interview transcripts. Dominic said to police that he then asked Ellis: “What the f*** you doing?” before Ellis punched him as they argued.
He then stated that he got a knife from the kitchen to cut Miss Clark free.
Detective Constable Craig Varney, leading the interview, asked: “Did Libby tell you what had happened in the room?”
Dominic replied: “It was all a blur to me.” He said he tried to give Miss Clark CPR as he wasn’t sure if she was breathing or not, before he heard a “weird noise” and then lay her down in the recovery position, before he and Ellis went upstairs to bed.
The jury heard that in the interview Dominic said he woke up the next morning and found Miss Clark downstairs “in the same position” and tried to roll her over. He said: “She was dead. It blew my head off.”
When asked how he reacted, Dominic told police: “I s*** myself like. I didn’t know what to do. I ran up and told Libby and she wouldn’t respond to me.”
Detectives were told by Dominic that he then “started drinking again”, but he and Ellis soon left the house to go to his mother’s shop.
Once there, Dominic stated that he “told my mum that someone had died in my front room” and she said they needed to call an ambulance “straight away”. He added that they didn’t call an ambulance there and then as he was scared of the repercussions.
Also giving evidence was Dominic Wallis’ sister, Layla Brown, who told the jury that on June 19 this year she received a phone call from her mum, Karen Wallis, at around 8.30am. She said that she was told about a woman dying at Dominic’s home and that Dominic and girl called Libby had been arrested.
The jury heard that Mrs Brown rang her mum again later that morning and she stated that Karen told her that Dominic and Ellis had told her about a fight involving Miss Clark the night before she died. A further phone call that day between Mrs Brown and Karen Wallis saw Karen say that she had been given Dominic’s version of events of what had happened to Miss Clark, but had just been given a different version of events by Ellis, according to Mrs Brown.
That phone call took place while Karen was sat in her car with Ellis.
“My mum was quite upset and she asked Libby to tell me what she had just told her,” Mrs Brown said. Mrs Brown told the jury that Ellis said to her that while taking drugs with Miss Clark and Dominic at his house, Miss Clark had put lighter fluid in to Ellis’ mouth.
“[Ellis] said Dominic had gone mad at Dionne and Dionne had wanted to leave, and Dominic had locked the door and taken the keys and there had been some argument,” explained Mrs Brown.
She added that Ellis told her that Dominic had hit Miss Clark “a few times” before she had hit Dominic back.
She said that Ellis told her that Dominic went “really mad” when Miss Clark retaliated and “tied her up with tape” around her ankles, knees and wrists.
Mrs Brown said: “I asked what she (Ellis) had to do with this. She said nothing.”
During the phone call Ellis also said that she and Dominic Wallis had made up the story about Miss Clark being involved in a fight the night before she died, Mrs Brown told the jury.
Junior prosecutor Thomas Baker asked how long the phone call had lasted for and Mrs Brown replied: “A long time. It was an unimaginable call so I can’t be totally sure. I was trying to get as much information as I could as there was a lot of crying and me trying to convince Libby to go to the police station as it was the right thing to do.”
She said that Ellis was “reluctant a first” to go the police station as she “didn’t want to go to prison” and also because she loved Dominic Wallis.