WARSOP MURDER TRIAL: ‘If the prosecution case was a TV drama script you’d throw it in the bin’, jury told

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A MURDER trial jury has been told to dismiss the ‘ridiculous’ prosecution case that there was a plot to kill Clifford Collinge.

The 61-year-old was dead found in a pool of blood at his home in Sandy Lane on 8th October last year.

His wife Charlotte Collinge (45) is alleged to have recruited Stephen Shreeves, Kelvin Dale and Robert Proud to murder her husband.

Shreeves and Dale have admitted going back to the house for sex but say they were attacked by Mr Collinge and assaulted him in self-defence.

They deny causing the injuries which killed him. Proud and Charlotte Collinge said they were out buying cocaine when the violence happened.

Shaun Smith QC, defending Dale, said there was ‘no evidence’ to convict his client of murder.

Mr Smith said: “Just because someone is dead, doesn’t mean someone is guilty of murder.

“Mr Joyce (prosecution) has tried to make the evidence fit. It’s speculation, it’s smoke and mirrors. It’s trying to fit a square pegs into a round hole.

Mr Smith asked the jury to think about the suggestion there was a plan to kill Mr Collinge in the context of a TV drama script.

He said:“Imagine you 12 are the producers of a crime drama on TV and are asked to look at an idea for a script.

“A woman wants her husband dead so she goes into the pub and recruits three men, who she’s never met before, to kill him.

“Kelvin Dale’s clothing of choice for the murder is one of the brightest green shirts you have ever seen.

“You are told they are never seen alone together.

“How are they going to carry out this killing? Where is their murder weapon?

“You are going to presume they conveniently find one at the murder scene - a house which they have never been to before.

“They arrive at the scene and there’s another man there - a drug taking alcoholic.

“So eager are these men that one of them decides to put it on hold to go and buy some cocaine.

“You are told the three men choose to attack the husband and his friend.

“You are told this is a plan to kill the husband - they leave him alive.

“After this maybe they lay low for a while? No, they advertise themselves at clubs and pubs on CCTV. One with blood on his shirt.

“I’m getting towards the end of the script now.

“The pathologist can tell you what the injuries are but can’t tell you if they came from one attack or two.

“The writer then thinks his script looks absolutely ridiculous and has to make a last minute change to say it was something which was all planned at the house.

“I would suggest if you got this as a script you would throw it in the bin. You would say to yourself ‘how is anybody going to believe that?’.

“But that’s the script for the prosecution case. That is what you are going to have to believe to convict Kelvin Dale of murder.

“Please do not, because you are in the pressure of a crown court trial, give that script more importance. It’s ridiculous. it’s absolutely ridiculous.

“Why would Kelvin Dale take another man’s life for Charlotte Collinge? Why, why, why, why, why would he do that?

“Are you saying he woke up that morning and decided to kill another human being? Not Kelvin Dale, he’s not a killer.”

Charlotte Collinge; Shreeves (40), of Laurel Avenue, Church Warsop; Dale (27), of Forest Road, Warsop and Proud (36), of Greendale Close, Warsop, all deny murder.

The trial continues.