Edwin Bradley: Walsall murder victim 'killed by man who thought he was sex offender'

Darren Barnes allegedly murdered Edwin Bradley in a brutal attack at the victim's home.

Edwin Bradley, inset, was found beaten at his flat in St Thomas Close, Coalpool
Edwin Bradley, inset, was found beaten at his flat in St Thomas Close, Coalpool

A man was murdered in his own home by an attacker who believed he was a sex offender, a jury heard.

Edwin Bradley was felled by a blow over the head with a bottle before being kicked and stamped on at a flat in St Thomas Close, Coalpool, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

The 65-year-old victim suffered 23 fractures to his rib cage with the sharp ends of the damaged bones causing catastrophic internal injuries, explained Mr Michael Duck QC, prosecuting.

Police officers at the scene

Mr Bradley had also suffered a heavy blow to the left side of his skull and was badly bruised on the back of his head, continued the prosecutor.

The prime suspect was 48-year-old Darren Barnes, who had become a regular visitor to the flat during the days running up to the attack, which happened between July 2 and 4.

Barnes told police he believed Mr Bradley had been involved in sexual offences, the court heard.

Forensic officers at the scene

The defendant left the area on July 4 and headed for Derbyshire where he had lived previously and still had friends.

He allegedly abandoned his current address in Bloxwich Road, Walsall and changed his phone.

Barnes was tracked down by police to a pub in Matlock on July 27, revealed Mr Duck, who claimed: “One of the officers went over to him and said he wanted to speak to him.

"The defendant’s response was: ‘Are you arresting me for murder?’ It was a telling response.”

Barnes denies murder and theft of a computer hard drive.

The case continues.

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