Verdict in Stuart Newton murder trial could be returned on Monday

The jury in a murder trial have been told to return to court on Monday when a judge will direct them to consider their verdict after two weeks of hearing evidence at Preston Crown Court.

On Friday, judge Suzanne Goddard finished summing up the evidence in the case, and directed jurors to consider what they had heard, but to return on Monday when she would officially send them to deliberate.

Last year, Nathan Williams, 31, of Mount Pleasant Street, Oswaldtwistle, was charged with the murder of 65-year-old Stuart Newton, after he was attacked outside a house in Worsley Court on February 12.

Sadly, Mr Newton died of his injuries on February 14.

Defendant ‘kicked, punched and stamped on head’ of 65-year-old Oswaldtwistle man, murder trial hears

Williams denies murdering the grandfather and on April 12, he appeared before a jury for trial.

Over the course of the last two weeks, the jury of seven woman and five men heard evidence from a number of witnesses, including the three other people who were present on the night of the attack.

The trial heard how on February 12 2020, Williams, his ex-partner Nicola Threlfall, and next door neighbours Carl McMahon and Abigail Newton had been drinking together at Abigail’s house.

There were children present in the house and a large amount of alcohol and cocaine had been consumed over the course of the evening.

At around 9.30pm, Abigail’s father, Stuart Newton arrived.

The jury were told how shortly after his arrival the atmosphere changed, when Mr Newton began insulting Williams, telling him he was unfit to be a father and that Mr Newton had ‘brought up his children’.

Jury must consider whether fatal blows to Stuart Newton were inflicted by defendant, or someone else

It is believed that Mr Newton had confused Williams for his son-in-law, Carl McMahon, who had four children with his daughter Abigail.

Williams professes that he became agitated with Mr Newton, who persisted in insulting him, so left the property to walk to his friend, Paul Berry’s house.

The Westmorland Gazette:

However, en-route, he was stopped in his tracks when he felt a presence behind him, and when he turned around, Stuart Newton was stood there throwing punches at him.

Williams claims he did not know at this point that it was Mr Newton, and in self-defence, landed an uppercut on the grandfather, knocking him off his feet and sending him onto his back on the floor.

The jury were told how Williams then made his way back to Abigail’s house to inform her of what had happened – that he had punched Mr Newton – before he, Abigail and Carl dragged Mr Newton’s body back into the property.

It was at this point that the court heard Mr Newton had been bleeding from the mouth.

Due to ongoing issues with social services, in respect of Abigail Newton and Carl McMahon, with Mr McMahon being prohibited from being in the same house as his children due to his ‘violent nature’ and ‘problems with alcohol’, the incident was not reported to the police straight away, with the jury hearing how Abigail and Carl decided to tell the emergency services that her father had ‘fallen down the stairs’.

It was at this point that Williams left the property, and around the same time, Abigail, who was still in drink, along with Nicola Threlfall, drove to her mother Susan’s house to bring her back to Worsley Court.

Carl McMahon was left in the property alone with Mr Newton.

When the ladies returned, Susan Newton, who was completely sober, demanded an ambulance be called for her husband, telling the paramedics that he had fallen, as this is what Abigail had told her.

At some point, Williams returned to the property, and told the jury that when he did ‘it was like a blood bath’, with Mr Newton’s condition having deteriorated incredibly.

Mr Newton was taken to hospital where scans found him to have serious head injuries.

Nurses caring for Mr Newton became suspicious and phoned the police to explain that the injuries the 65-year-old had sustained were not consistent with a fall, but were much, much worse.

The Westmorland Gazette:

Sadly, Mr Newton died on February 14 and a post-mortem revealed his injuries were most probably caused by excessive kicking or stamping on the head.

During the course of the evening, Williams had sent a text message to his friend John Smith saying ‘mate, gone into hiding, I think I’ve killed Abi’s dad or put him in a coma, I am going to have to keep hid for a bit’.

Williams was arrested and interviewed and subsequently charged with Mr Newton’s murder, however, he maintains his innocence, saying he only punched Mr Newton once, and that the injuries must have been inflicted on Mr Newton after he, Abigail and Carl had dragged him back to the house and he had left to go elsewhere.

He told the jury he did not know who inflicted the fatal blows but told the jury ‘it wasn’t me’.

Judge Goddard ordered the jury to return to court on Monday where she would send them out to deliberate and consider their verdict.

Williams denies murder (proceeding).

 

The Westmorland Gazette | North Lancs