A JURY in the trial of four people accused of brutally murdering a Warsop dad has retired to consider its verdicts.
Clifford Collinge (61) was found dead with 46 separate injuries, including 30 broken ribs and a fractured skull, at his home on Sandy Lane on 8th October last year.
After more than five weeks of evidence, Judge Mr Justice Treacy finished his summary of the case yesterday and told the jury to ‘stay calm, be fair and reach verdicts with cool reflection and analysis of the evidence’.
Charlotte Collinge (45) is alleged to have taken three men to kill her husband to claim a share of his £1m estate.
Stephen Shreeves and Kelvin Dale say they went back to the house for sex with Charlotte Collinge after she flirted with them in the Crates and Grapes wine bar and the Co-op supermarket.
Shreeves and Dale admit assaulting Mr Collinge following a fight but deny causing the injuries that killed him.
Another man, Stephen ‘Stan’ Boardman, who was at the house with Mr Collinge, was allegedly assaulted in the same fight.
Robert Proud, a friend of Shreeves and Dale, also went to the house but left with Charlotte Collinge to buy cocaine at the time the defendants say the violence took place.
The prosecution say all four defendants were in the house when Mr Collinge and Mr Boardman were assaulted.
Mr Boardman said three men took part in the attack.
Shreeves and Dale say someone else must have inflicted the fatal injuries received by Mr Collinge.
Judge Treacy highlighted how Stan Boardman had a history of alcohol abuse leading to paranoia, memory loss and hallucinations.
He said: “Examine Stan Boardman’s evidence with care. Apart from the four defendants, he is the only witness to events in the house.
“The defence made an attack on his reliability and credibility. They say his evidence is confused and contradicting.
“The prosecution say he has consistently maintained there were three men present during the attack.
“It was a fast moving event, would you expect someone to be accurate in every detail? It is for you to judge how far allowances can go.”
Judge Treacy asked the jury to consider a number of questions about what happened in the house.
“Who were the aggressors in the fight?” he said. “Was Proud still in the house and did he play a part in the violence?
“What injuries had Mr Collinge sustained at the end of the fight?
“If Cliff and Stan Boardman were the aggressors, did these defendants act lawfully in self defence? Or did they act unlawfully with excessive force.”
Mr Justice Treacy told the jury not to make a judgement based on a disapproval of the defendants’ behaviour in relation to sex and drugs.
He said: “You may raise an eyebrow at the defendants’ behaviour but don’t use any feelings of disapproval about that sort of behaviour – put that to one side.
“Work through what you have heard over the past five weeks in your own way and your own time.”
Judge Treacy said verdicts of manslaughter can be considered for each defendant if it is decided they are not guilty of murder.
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 three men also deny causing actual bodily harm to Mr Boardman.
The trial continues.