A MAN who is standing trial accused of murdering Skegby pensioner Hilda Owen has told a court that he had gone out to look for sex and not to dispose of a murder weapon when he visited several areas of woodland.
Giving evidence at his trial at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday afternoon, Peter Kenneth Smith (48) said that on the evening of 27th February 2007 - which the prosecution say was the night Hilda was killed - he had visited popular cruising areas, including Thieves Wood near Sutton.
Paul Mann QC, defending Smith, said: “Did you find any sex?”
Smith replied: “No.”
Mr Mann added: “Were you in fact trying to find somewhere to dispose of bloody clothing and a clawhammer - anything to do with the murder of Hilda Owen?”
Smith said: “Absolutely not.”
The jury was also played a recording of Smith’s phone call to the ambulance service which he made after finding Hilda dead at her West Hill home on 1st March.
In the recording, Smith, crying and hysterical, tells the operator that Hilda is covered in blood and that he couldn’t look at her. He later told the jury that the 71-year-old had been like a ‘nana’ to him and that her death had had a ‘devastating’ effect on him.
Mr Mann asked Smith if he had killed Hilda for money.
Smith said: “No I did not. Why would I want to do that?”
Earlier in the afternoon, the jury was also told that Smith had purchased a will kit for Hilda which she had signed without the two witnesses - who were friends of the defendant - being there.
Smith told the court that the two friends had not arrived so Hilda had signed the will and then left.
“I said she shouldn’t because they were coming round especially to witness her signing the will,” he added.
The prosecution allege that Smith murdered Hilda in order to solve his own financial problems. He denies the charges.
The case continues.