Burglar claims uncle told him he was ‘going to kill’ pensioner

A man accused of murdering a pensioner in a burglary gone wrong has told a court that he raided homes “as a job” as he described the night of the killing.

Llywelyn Thomas, 76, was found dead inside his home in Ely Road, Chittering, Cambridgeshire, on December 18.

Prosecutors allege he was savagely beaten after two men forced their way into the house the previous night.

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Yesterday Frankie Parker, 26, told Cambridge Crown Court that he had seen widower Mr Thomas laying bleeding after he was attacked by his co-defendant Gary Smith in a bedroom.

Describing how he had been searching another room for valuables, he added: “I heard my uncle say he was going to kill him. He shouted it to me and he just sounded normal so I didn’t believe him.

“I heard a thud – like something hitting on the ground. He had no reason to do it so I thought he was joking about. Afterwards he came out holding the crow bar and said ‘don’t look’. I could see past him and when I saw Mr Thomas’s head and face, I ran. He wasn’t in a good way and blood was coming out of his mouth.”

Parker, of Nene Road, Ely, and Smith, 21, of the Fen Road travellers’ site, Cambridgeshire, both deny murder.

Smith denies robbery while Parker admits this charge.

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Smith’s father John Smith, 67, of Wold Gate, Bridlington, East Yorkshire, has admitted assisting an offender by providing a false alibi.

Yesterday the jury was instructed to acquit him of a second count of assisting an offender by acting as the getaway driver. He will be sentenced for the first offence at the end of the trial.

Parker said he and Smith, his uncle, had cased Mr Thomas’s property before the burglary.

He added: “We used to do burglaries and steal cars together. At the time it was our work. I had been doing it since I was 14 but for about a year with my uncle.”

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Parker said they had chosen the house because it was “a big house which would be worth burgling”.

On the night of the burglary he wore gloves, carried a crow bar and pulled a hat over his face.

On the night of the raid the pair knocked on the door to make sure nobody was home. Parker said: “When I saw the door open, I was shocked but Gary barged his way in. I didn’t know what to do. I had never entered a house where there were occupiers before but I decided to follow him in.

“Gary took the crow bar from me. I was panicking and wanted to leave. He was co-operating, I couldn’t see any need to use violence on him.”

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Earlier prosecutor Karim Khalil told jurors that Gary Smith and Parker had subjected Mr Thomas to a “horrific” attack during which he may have been tied up.

A battered V-reg Rover was stolen along with three watches, cash and ornamental eggs.

The trial continues.