Murder suspect accused of ‘lies and nonsense’

John Heald
John Heald
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A MAN who claims he accidentally stabbed and trod on the face of a landlady tells “lies at every opportunity” a court heard.

John Heald claims he “panicked” after hearing male voices outside Morayland Hotel in Bridlington where he’d gone after allegedly raping a woman in Sheffield.

He told Hull Crown Court one said he’d got a knife and would “slash him up” and “scared” he armed himself with a saw knife he’d bought to the hotel. Explaining the moment he killed landlady Bei Carter, he said: “I got to the end of the landing, looked down, couldn’t see anybody. Next thing I got tapped on the shoulder, I turned round, the lady was just stood there, she grabbed the knife. She was pulling one way, I was pulling the other way.”

Heald was unable to explain the three overlying shoemarks on Mrs Carter’s face which had fractured her hyoid bone, saying he had “stumbled” on her. Challenged as to why he failed to ring 999 on the way to the station, he said he didn’t know where the hotel was.

He told the jury he’d been depressed when he arrived in the town and wanted to kill himself crushing up 200 tablets and mixing them with vodka. He was “devastated” by his actions, and still wanted to die.

Earlier Heald said a man outside a pub toilet saw him and said something about Facebook and later a woman sat outside a pub pointed him out also mentioning the social networking site, making him feel “panicky”.Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, challenged him over differences between defence statements and what he said in court, adding: “You lie at every opportunity and when you are found out you tell more lies.”

He said Heald was “thinking sufficiently” to hide the keys to the room where Mrs Carter was left, removed fingerprints and hid a shoe, adding: “You weren’t in a panic at all. “ He said: “Whilst you were on the run from the consequences of having raped (another woman) you met Mrs Carter and attacked her as well. You were pretty out of control by then. You were drinking vodka, beer, all this pent up inside you. Mrs Carter got in the way didn’t she?” Heald, of Foljambe Road, Rotherham, denies murder and three counts of rape.