Body in a bag murder trial: Accused and victim had a ‘violent’ friendship

PROBE Police search at Richmond Road, Southsea, in December 2012
PROBE Police search at Richmond Road, Southsea, in December 2012
PCSOs and police officers around Priory School this afternoon

Police speak to school after fight in Southsea play park

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A MAN accused of killing his friend and cutting him up had a history of violence towards him, a court has heard.

David Hilder, 47, is accused of murdering David Guy at some point between June 30 and July 3 last year, in a case that the prosecution said required careful planning.

Hilder, of Richmond Road in Southsea, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court, which is due to last five weeks.

Laying out the prosecution’s case, Nigel Lickley QC said that the two had been friends for several years.

And they were part of ‘a community’ centred on White Heather Transport, a garage and small business complex, in Richmond Road.

Hilder had a small lock-up in the complex from where he ran his scrap metal business.

Mr Guy slept in a camper van parked on the complex and did odd jobs around the place for money.

It is the crown’s case that Hilder killed Mr Guy, cutting up his body in his lock-up, before riding around Southsea on his distinctive bike, which had a large basket on the front, to dispose of the body parts in the sea.

Mr Lickley said: ‘It took time, it took clarity of thought and it took planning.’

Mr Lickley explained how Hilder had taken exception to Mr Guy’s neglect of his pet cat in favour of a woman he had recently started seeing.

Witnesses told how Hilder had beaten Mr Guy on previous occasions because of this.

But the exact circumstances of Mr Guy’s death remain unknown.

He added: ‘It may well be that something minor led to the argument that led to the killing of David Guy.

‘There are a number of things that could’ve been relevant – his cat, David Guy being absent because of his new relationship, money, being drunk and making a mess in Mr Hilder’s flat. Whatever it was, it caused significant violence.’

Students found Mr Guy’s torso on Southsea beach on July 3. It was inside a bin liner, wrapped in a pink shower curtain.

Mr Guy’s legs and pelvis were spotted in the water by Southsea Castle on July 6. The rest of his body has never been found.

Mr Lickley said: ‘We know that David Hilder had a history of violence, and recent violence, towards David Guy and was abusive in that regard, but they still associated with each other as dependents, as it can be in some abusive relationships.’

(Proceeding)

OFFICERS ‘FOUND DEAD MAN’S BLOOD IN FLAT’

AT 9am on July 4, David Hilder found himself standing outside Shoreham Police Station, wanting to talk to an officer.

But the station does not open to the public until 10am so he used the telephone on the outside of the building for people to use in emergencies.

During the conversation Hilder told the operator: ‘I think I’ve done something serious’, and added: ‘I think I’ve killed someone.’

Hilder – who only holds a provisional driver’s licence – also said he couldn’t remember how he got to the West Sussex town.

A police officer came out of the station and he was taken inside and searched. Because Hilder said he might have taken a lot of Nurofen, he was taken to Worthing Hospital.

At the hospital, Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, told the court how Hilder said to a nurse he ‘might have murdered a friend’.

Sussex Police spoke to Hampshire Constabulary, which arranged to enter and search Hilder’s flat in Keelan Court.

Hilder was arrested that day after returning to Southsea, back at White Heather Transport.

When police searched the flat, forensic experts found traces of Mr Guy’s blood in the kitchen and the bathroom. They also found it on jeans and a shirt on the floor of the bedroom.

When Mr Guy’s torso was found on Southsea beach near the Pyramids on July 3, it was wrapped in a pink Wilkinson shower curtain inside a bin bag. Fibres that matched those of the curtain were also found on the jeans.

Mr Lickley said: ‘The blood and the fibres, it gives us a clear indication of what happened in that flat.’

A post-mortem carried out on Mr Guy’s remains discovered seven cuts on his back, from 25cm to 32cm in length. And a single stab wound that right through the chest to emerge at the back.

Although a pathologist confirmed this wound was inflicted while Mr Guy was alive, because of the missing parts, it cannot be said to be the cause of his death.

GARAGE BOSS SAYS HE WOULD TRUST DEFENDANT IMPLICITLY

THE owner of the garage where David Hilder and David Guy were based has told how he would trust the man in the dock ‘with his life’.

Graham Brook runs White Heather Transport Ltd in Richmond Road, Southsea. Giving evidence, Mr Brook said Hilder had asked him six years ago if he could set up his own scrap metal business on the site. Mr Brook said: ‘They had a love/hate relationship in the nicest possible way - David Hilder would get infuriated with David Guy’s drinking and other things.’

Under cross-examination by William Mousley QC, defending, asked if Hilder was trustworthy, he replied: ‘I would trust him with my life.’