Court hears how trail of blood led officer to discover man’s body in garden

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A POLICEMAN told a murder trial jury how he found a man’s body in the garden of a York house after following a trail of blood from a reported domestic incident at another property nearby.

Pc Simon Fennell said he had spent 10 to 15 minutes at an address in Stuart Road, Acomb, after Susan Webb complained her estranged husband Mark Webb had called there in drink and tried to get inside her friend’s home.

He told Leeds Crown Court yesterday she said she had told her husband earlier that day that she had begun a new relationship and he was upset about that.

She also mentioned she had a non-molestation order against him, but when the officer checked he found that had expired.

As he was leaving, either Susan Webb or the occupant of the house, Kerry Munton, mentioned that Mr Webb had been bleeding in the alleyway at the back of the property.

About the same time he noticed blood on the pavement and road and because of the “significant amount” decided to follow the trail, which led towards Mrs Webb’s home in Middleton Road.

“I followed the trail of blood which led up the driveway of that property, initially to the front door where there were some smears of blood.”

He then found the body of Mr Webb near an outhouse. “There was no movement at all. He was very grey, lifeless and unresponsive.”

The constable told the court Mr Webb was relatively cold to the touch and, when he checked, he could find no pulse.

He turned him on to his back and began resuscitation while waiting for the ambulance which he had already requested. He then travelled in the ambulance with Mr Webb who was pronounced dead soon after arrival at hospital.

The jury has heard Mr Webb had suffered a deep wound to his neck which had severed his jugular vein.

The prosecution claims he had been deliberately slashed with a Stanley knife outside the property at Stuart Road by Brian Cox, who was Susan Webb’s new boyfriend.

Cox, 29, denies murdering Mr Webb, 40 of Cornlands Road, York on March 4 this year. Susan Webb, 30 of Middleton Road, Acomb, denies three charges of doing acts to pervert the course of justice and Dawn Coates, 39, of Chapel Terrace, York, denies one charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The trial continues.