Murder accused 'unaware Rowley Regis dad lived at workshop'

A man accused of beating to death a father-of-five at his Rowley Regis workshop during a late-night robbery told the jury he did not know he was living there.

Carl Woodall was left for dead with 141 injuries
Carl Woodall was left for dead with 141 injuries

Carl Woodall's battered body had more than 140 separate wounds when he was discovered by his son, Ryan, at Waterside Industrial Unit, off Doulton Road, on June 28 last year.

Giving evidence in the trial, Mark Campbell told Wolverhampton Crown Court he went to the unit with co-defendants Simmion Goldbourne and James McGhee to steal "drugs and money".

He said he had met Mr Woodall, known as Bert, about four days prior to the incident after he was introduced to him by his stepson Cieran Evans whom he met in prison. He said he had previously visited the industrial estate, but stayed in his car.

He told the jury that he had travelled to the area to sell drugs for Mr Evans, a prosecution witness, as there had been a fire at his home and he needed money.

The jury previously heard that McGhee drove Campbell and Goldbourne from Nottingham to the estate and remained outside for two hours while the pair burgled it.

Campbell said: "We went to the unit and looked for an access point. That's when Simmion said the keys were probably in the caravan because it looked like an office.

"I looked around because I'd seen Cieran go in and out of the unit and I thought it was drugs that was being dropped off or picked up. The two brothers worked together. One of them used to leave the drugs there and the other would go and pick it up so that they wouldn't be passing drugs to each other in the street.

"I was looking for drugs or money."

Mr John Ryder QC, defending, asked him: "Had you expected someone to be there?"

Campbell replied: "No".

He told the jury that Goldbourne smashed the pane in the door to get into the caravan and at that point they heard a voice shouting from inside 'What are you doing'?"

"I heard Simmion demanding things. I heard him say 'You know what we're here for'. The guy said, 'I haven't got anything'.

"Simmion said 'Where's the keys?' I panicked at that stage because I had just come to do a burglary. I didn't expect anyone to be there. It was a bit full on.

"Then he got him by the scruff of the neck. He brought him out and I instantly recognised him (Mr Woodall) at that point. He brought him to the caravan steps. I stayed out of view because I didn't want him to recognise me."

Campbell also told the jury that while he was visiting the previous week he stole 500g of cocaine from Cieran Evans' house before returning home.

Cross-examining him, Mr Gregory Bull QC, defending Goldbourne, put to Campbell: "So you stole from a man who had been good to you?"

Campbell replied: "Yes."

Mr Bull said: "You are a thoroughly dishonest man man aren't you?"

Campbell replied: "No. I wouldn't say that."

The prosecution allege that Mr Woodall was the victim of a joint enterprise murder involving Campbell, 40, Goldbourne and James McGhee, both 28. The defendants all from Nottingham deny murder.

The trial continues.

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