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Cannock murder victim was found with multiple stab wounds days after offering man shelter

A widow was found dead at her Cannock home with multiple stab wounds days after offering shelter to a man on Christmas Eve.

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Stafford Crown Court

Lucy Clews, 39, was found by police at her home, in Bath Road, in West Chadsmoor, on December 29 last year after her worried family reported concerns for her welfare.

Thomas Grant, 27, is accused of murdering Mrs Clews, a known drug user with health issues, whom he met by chance the day he came out of prison.

Miss Jennifer Knight KC, prosecuting barrister, told the trial being heard in the defendant's absence at Stafford Crown Court this week that the victim was found dead on the floor of a bedroom at the bungalow she had shared with husband Stephen, who had died on December 3 of a drug overdose.

"In the early hours of the morning on December 29, close to a year ago, police officers went to an address in Bath Road, an address in the West Chadsmoor area of Cannock, to the home of a woman called Lucy Clews.

"Her mother had phoned the police earlier that night expressing concern that she had not heard from her, in fact she had not heard from Lucy over the Christmas period. This was unusual as she would phone her mother regularly, sometimes several times a day.

"Officers went to the address and there they found Lucy Clews dead on her bedroom floor. She had clearly been the victim of a brutal attack during which she had been stabbed multiple times.

"She had been seen by her sister-in-law on Christmas Day who had taken her some lunch. During that visit this defendant Thomas Grant was present in Lucy Clew's house, and we say that it was he who probably killed her," Miss Knight said.

She told the jury that the victim, who was feeling unwell and vulnerable following the death of her husband, met her alleged killer by chance at the Hednesford home of a mutual acquaintance hours after he was released from Dovegate Prison having served a sentence for shoplifting.

She said Lucy Clews and Grant along with others at the Hednesford flat decided to club together to travel by train to Hamstead, in Birmingham, to buy £250 worth of heroin and cocaine from a dealer called "Sonny".

Miss Knight said Grant told the alleged victim that he had just come out of prison and had nowhere to stay. She said Mrs Clews offered to put him up over the Christmas period as she was on her own.

She also said Staffordshire Police's integrated management team offered to help Grant seek accommodation, but the jury heard he was "focused" on getting his hands on drugs and had no interest in what was being offered.

Grant, of no fixed abode, denies murder. The trial continues.

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