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Murder accused John Anslow 'discussed killing' of Staffordshire businessman Richard Deakin

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A man accused of murdering a Staffordshire businessman has admitted discussing the killing – but only after his uncle was arrested for the crime, a court has heard.

John Anslow is accused of organising the murder of Staffordshire man Richard Deakin.

The 27-year-old Walsall skip hire boss was shot as he lay in his own bed almost four years ago by gunman David Harrison, Anslow's uncle.

Bilston man Harrison and getaway driver Darryl Dickens have already been convicted of the murder. They also ran a skip hire firm together.

At Woolwich Crown Court yesterday Anslow, 33, from Tipton, denied having heard of Mr Deakin. He said that regular phone contact between him and Harrison was mostly about drug dealing.

Mr Michael Bromley Martin QC, defending Anslow, asked him about how many occasions he and Harrison had discussed Mr Deakin's murder.

Anslow told jurors: "When he got out the police station for being arrested I asked him what that was about.

"He said it was circumstantial b******s. We never mentioned it again."

Mr Bromley Martin continued: "Apart from that did you ever talk to him about the murder of Richard Deakin?"

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"No," Anslow replied. And in reply to Mr Bromley Martin's question of what most of his and Harrison's phone conversations would have been about, Anslow said: "Drugs."

"Generally I'd change my phone every four to six weeks, eight maximum. We all had to change our numbers – if one person changed we all changed."

Mr Michael Burrows QC, prosecuting, asked Anslow why he changed his phone shortly after the murder was committed. Anslow replied: "Somebody told me to change it so I did." When asked who that man was, he replied: "David."

Mr Deakin was murdered on July 5 and Mr Burrows questioned Anslow on why phone contact between him and getaway driver Dickens ceased between May 20 and July 7. He said he only spoke to Dickens about skips and added: "I've got 300 contacts in my phone at any one time. I only contacted him for skips. I don't know the man that's been killed, I knew nothing about him, it's nothing to do with me."

Mr Deakin was killed just minutes after his partner Megan left their Chasetown home with their two children. Anslow denies murder. The trial continues.

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