Jurors trying a man accused of double murder heard a 999 call yesterday in which a distressed witness described discovering the body of his first alleged victim.
Angelina Dicicco told Newcastle Crown Court she made the call after she and her partner, George Foreman, went into the home of their friend Colin Dunford, 81, in Leven Street, Middlesbrough after he failed to turn up at his local club.
With them was Andrew Mallett, the bar manager of Samuelson’s Club. She used the key given to them for emergencies and they found Mr Dunford lying bloodstained and dead on his living room floor.
She sobbed as she told the operator: “he’s been robbed and murdered”, later adding: “someone’s killed him, they have killed him”.
She told Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, that while in the house she saw that Mr Dunford’s belongings were strewn all over his front room, which was normally very tidy.
In his evidence, Mr Foreman said he had been a friend of Mr Dunford for 10 years, and only once in that time had his friend not come to the social club they attended on a Sunday night. It was that that had alerted him to something being wrong.
The prosecution claims the robber who killed Mr Dunford was James Allen, a former neighbour who allegedly struck again a few days later killing Julie Davison, 50, at her flat in Church Square, Whitby.
Allen, 36, then of Lothian Road, Middlesbrough denies both murders in April this year.
Mr Dunford died from facial and head injuries after being punched, kicked and stamped on while Ms Davison was the victim of a knife attack to her neck, which severed her carotid artery.
Both their homes had been ransacked.
Mr Smith earlier told the jury after the death of Ms Davison on April 25 Allen abandoned a stolen bike he had used to get to Whitby from Middlesbrough and took a bus to Scarborough.
He was allegedly wearing a black Regatta jacket and a pair of white trainers belonging to Ms Davison and carrying her laptop.
Once in Scarborough he bought himself new trainers and clothes for £115 and sold a gold St Christopher medallion for £35 at Cash Converter which matched a similar one given to Ms Davison by her sister which she would take off and leave by her bed each night.
He stayed the night in the Allerton Guest House before taking a Coastliner bus from Scarborough to Leeds via Malton the next day.
Mr Smith told the jury once in Leeds he had a chance meeting with a man called Michael Forbes who saw him sell the laptop to a trader in Leeds Market.
He said Allen allegedly told Mr Forbes his name was Marcus and said he had got £57 for it, saying he could not take it to Cash Converters because it came from “a bad robbery”.
He also met another man, Trevor Kirton, who later took him back to his home in Harehills where he was allowed to spend the night.
Mr Kirton lived with his girlfriend Lisa Clark and at lunchtime the next day she was going to put the television news on but the man she knew as “Marcus” told her not to watch it as he had done something “naughty”.
Later he told Mr Kirton she should not watch the television because he would be on it and had done something “nasty which would scare her”.
Their visitor said he had to collect a car and borrowed £1.20 bus fare, saying he would be back that evening but never returned.
Mr Smith said by that time a description and photograph of Allen had been circulated to the Press because police wanted to question him about the events in Middlesbrough and Whitby. When the couple saw his photograph in the Yorkshire Post they recognised him as “Marcus”.
His movements over the next two days were not known but at 7am on April 29 PC Benjamin Ryder recognised him from the wanted photo and informed colleagues and within a short time Allen was arrested in Crown Point Road.
When questioned he denied being responsible for either killing.
The trial continues.