Walsall murder victim's body was found hidden under 3ft pile of household goods
The body of murder victim Edwin ‘Eddie’ Bradley was hidden under three-foot-high pile of household goods, a jury heard.
Police and paramedics looking for the missing 65-year-old initially had difficulty finding the concealed corpse, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
They had been alerted by anxious neighbours who had not seen divorced Mr Bradley for some time.
Two police officers had to force their way into the ‘untidy and cluttered’ locked two-bedroom maisonette in St Thomas Close, Coalpool, on July 6.
Emily Powell, one of two paramedics who went in with them, later said in a statement: “We searched all the rooms and couldn’t see the body but when we looked more thoroughly my colleague said, ‘He’s here’.”
A human hand was exposed when a blanket was lifted from the pile of household goods in the living room, the court heard.
A police officer estimated the stack stood ‘two or three’ feet high.
The helpless victim suffered 23 fractures to his rib cage that caused catastrophic internal injuries, the court heard.
Mr Bradley had told a probation officer of a new friendship with a man called Daz.
Offender manager Sherlene Eccleston, who saw him every two weeks, told the jury: “He said he had met a man in a pub and a relationship had developed fairly quickly. They became friends and stayed at each other's home.
"I asked why the other man was called Daz and he said his name was Darren.”
More from the trial:
- Woman saw stranger at murder victim's flat
- Walsall murder victim 'killed by man who thought he was sex offender'
The man was 48-year-old Darren Barnes, who is alleged to have been the person seen on CCTV walking from St Thomas Close while pulling a black case and carrying a guitar in a distinctive mustard-coloured case that matched one owned by Mr Bradley on July 4, the day the murder is though to have taken place.
The prosecution allege it was also the day the defendant abandoned the ground-floor front room in Bloxwich Road, Walsall, in which he had lived since November 2017 with the rent paid directly to the landlord by social services.
It was also claimed he changed his phone and headed to Derbyshire where he had lived previously and was arrested after being tracked down to a pub in Matlock on July 27, revealed Mr Michael Duck QC, prosecuting, 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 from somebody we say had murdered Mr Bradley."
The defendant later insisted he was just joking.
Mr Charles Miskin QC, defending, told the jury: "It is denied that the man seen carrying the guitar is the defendant."
Barnes pleads not guilty to murdering Mr Bradley and also denies stealing the hard drive from the man's computer. The case continues.
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