A MAN accused of bludgeoning a Warsop dad to death has told a jury it was ‘unfortunate’ for him that he was found dead soon after they had fought.
Stephen Shreeves (40) admits having a fight with Clifford Collinge but denies causing the injuries which killed him.
Mr Collinge (61) was found in a pool of blood by police and paramedics at his home in Sandy Lane just after 10pm on 8th October last year. He had 46 separate injuries caused by weapons including a metal clamp and a guitar.
Mr Collinge’s wife Charlotte (45) is alleged to have brought Shreeves and two other men back to the house to murder her husband.
Shreeves, giving evidence at Nottingham Crown Court today (Monday), said he saw Charlotte Collinge in the Crate and Grapes wine bar earlier in the evening.
Shreeves said he had not spoken with Charlotte Collinge before but knew of her ‘reputation’ and said she had the nickname ‘Charlotte the Harlot’.
Shreeves said he joined in with the ‘banter’ as Charlotte Collinge began flirting with all the men in the bar.
He said: “Somebody said, ‘if you buy her half a lager she’ll do anything’. I was playing up to the crowd so I bought her two.”
Shreeves said he decided to go back to Charlotte Collinge’s house with the intention of having sex with her. Another man, Kelvin Dale went with them and they were later joined by Robert Proud.
Shreeves said Charlotte Collinge told him her husband Cliff wasn’t home but when they arrived he was sat in the living room with another man known as Stan Boardman.
Shreeves said Charlotte Collinge had talked about wanting her husband dead as they made their way to the house.
“I thought it was a bit surreal,” Shreeves said. “I thought she was crazy but I didn’t take it seriously.”
He told the court all four of them were in the bedroom until Charlotte Collinge and Proud left to buy cocaine.
Shreeves said Stan Boardman them came into the room with a knife and laid on the bed.
Shreeves said: “He looked high on drugs and alcohol, he was quite wild eyed. He was muttering gibberish to himself but we felt threatened.”
Shreeves said he and Dale decided to leave but when they got downstairs Mr Collinge accused them of kicking a dog.
“He picked up a weapon from the dresser,” Shreeves said. “He swung at me. I punched him in the face, just the once, and he fell on to his back side.”
Shreeves said he then struck Mr Boardman who was throwing crockery at him then attacked him with a guitar.
Shreeves said both men were moving and groaning when he and Dale left but not seriously injured.
When asked by his defence Trevor Burke QC if he had caused the injuries that killed Mr Collinge, he said: “No. I’m 100 per cent sure.”
Stuart Rafferty QC, defending Charlotte Collinge, questioned why Shreeves had gone into the house after she had allegedly spoken about wanting her husband dead.
Mr Rafferty said: “A mad woman has just told you she wants her husband dead. You walk through the doors and he’s there. Yet you carry on into the house?
“We’re you so enflamed with lust?”
Shreeves said: “I just didn’t take it seriously.”
Mr Rafferty continued: “Are you saying it is an unfortunate co-incidence that the man who started the fight and who hit you with a weapon, within a very short time of you leaving, is murdered by someone also using the same weapon as him?”
Shreeves replied: “It is an unfortunate circumstance, yes.”
Charlotte Collinge; Shreeves, of Laurel Avenue, Church Warsop; Kelvin Dale (27), of Forest Road, Warsop and Robert Proud (36), of Greendale Close, Warsop, all deny murder.
The trial continues.