An elderly neighbour was repeatedly hit with a claw hammer after he fell out with a friend over ‘something silly about an aeroplane,’ a court heard.
Harry Messenger, 75, was hit at least 18 times to the head, face and neck and about 13 times to the chest by Tony Goodwin, 63, inside his bungalow, it was said.
Shortly after the attack, that lasted at least five minutes, Goodwin sent a text as he tried to get hold of his brother, it is alleged.
The early morning text read ‘No, I just murdered someone true get me to talk to my brother urgenta,’ jurors heard.
Harry Messenger, 75, was hit at least 18 times to the head, face and neck and about 13 times to the chest by Tony Goodwin, 63, inside his bungalow (pictured), a court heard
But it was only 12 hours later that he called 999 and told the operator he had ‘a bit of a dispute’ with his neighbour in Faversham, Kent, on May 19 of this year.
Jurors heard Goodwin added: ‘I think I may have hurt him, because we had a fight. He’s not responding, so I could have hurt him.’
When asked how his friend seemed after he left, he replied: ‘Erm bad.’
Goodwin denies murder and manslaughter, claiming he acted in self-defence after being attacked first.
Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC told Maidstone Crown Court the pair had been good friends and would regularly visit each other in the cul-de-sac where they lived.
About lunchtime another neighbour saw Goodwin knock on Mr Messenger’s door and was ‘effing and blinding,’ it was said.
Then just after midnight neighbour Danita Godden heard raised voices outside Mr Messenger’s bungalow and recognised Goodwin from his voice.
Around two hours later another neighbour Derek Brown heard two bangs that sounded as though they were coming from Mr Messenger’s bungalow, it was said.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Goodwin denies murder and manslaughter, claiming he acted in self-defence after being attacked first
An hour later Goodwin sent a text attempting to get in touch with his brother and then made the 999 call just before 5pm.
In the 999 call played to the jury Goodwin said: ‘Well, he attacked me with a hammer, started punching with his fist, then got a hammer and started using that, and then apparently I used it back, and then I left after that.
‘Yes, he hit me with a hammer first, but obviously he came into possession of the hammer out of the blue.
‘I took it off him and hit him back, not with the intention of hitting him hard, but I hit him.
‘I checked to see if he was breathing but I couldn’t get no pulse, so I just left. I was scared.’
The fight, he said, was over ‘something silly about an aeroplane’.
Police officers looked through Mr Messenger’s letter box and saw his legs and then broke in and found his body with a ‘significant’ head injury with a hammer nearby.
Mr Bennetts said there was an indication Mr Messenger had been lying on the lounge floor for long enough for a large stain of blood to form.
He said: ‘There is evidence that while in this position his blood wet head was struck at least once, and maybe more.
‘Mr Messenger’s head was then moved to a position on the carpet near a coffee table where he was eventually found dead.
‘There is evidence that while in that position his blood-wet head was struck further times with at least one blow being into congealed blood.
‘The pathologist concluded he died as a result of significant blunt trauma to the head, sustained during a violent assault involving repetitive blows with a hammer.’
When arrested Goodwin said he had washed his clothes and then asked ‘How is he?’
He also had an injury to his face, which was bruised and red and in his interview claimed: ‘It was self-defence by the way. I was the one who was bruised and beaten.’
He added he thought he hit Mr Messenger to the head two or three times.
The trial continues.
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