Defendant cannot account for his actions last July

SEARCH Police on the beach at Southsea after the attack
SEARCH Police on the beach at Southsea after the attack

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A MAN accused of killing and cutting up his friend has not been able to deny that he did it, a court has heard.

David Hilder has been unable to explain his actions around the time that David Guy’s torso was found on Southsea beach on July 4 last year.

The 47-year-old repeatedly said he had ‘no recollection’ of events, or ‘I don’t remember,’ as he took the witness stand to give evidence at his trial for the murder of Mr Guy, which is being held at Winchester Crown Court.

Under cross-examination by Nigel Lickley QC, Hilder, of Richmond Road in Southsea, was taken through his movements in July last year in great detail.

When showed CCTV images of a man riding around Southsea on a bike with a distinctive large box on the front, Hilder confirmed it was him.

But when asked where he was going or what he was doing, particularly during a two-hour period in the early hours of July 1 where he didn’t appear on any cameras, he said: ‘I don’t know.’

And he said that on July 4, the last thing he could remember was going to a Southsea pub. He said: ‘I came out of the pub and everything started swirling around me.’

The next thing he recalled was waking up in a field in Sussex on July 5.

He said: ‘I woke up somewhere in the Sussex Downs area and I started to walk to the nearest town.

‘Some old chap turned around and said “You look lost, mate”.

‘I said I was, and he told me “there’s a police station up there”.’

He told the court he didn’t remember wanting to speak to the police about anything in particular. But at Shoreham police station, he told an officer: ‘I think I’ve killed someone.’

And he also mentioned David Guy when talking to the police – but at that point the torso on the beach had not been identified.

It was only later on July 5 that the torso was identified through DNA.

When asked by Mr Lickley why he mentioned this, Hilder said: ‘I can’t explain it, I had weird thoughts, but I can’t remember it now.’

Hilder denied being violent towards Mr Guy, but the trial has previously heard how, several weeks earlier, he had given Hilder a black eye.

He said he gave Mr Guy a ‘back-hander’ for getting ‘lairy’ and throwing a circular saw blade at him.

Hilder was caught on CCTV buying a bottle of gin and a bottle of vodka at Waitrose in Southsea on the afternoon of July 2. Earlier in the trial it had been heard that Hilder rarely drank.

Mr Lickley asked: ‘What made you want to have a drink?’

Hilder replied: ‘Nothing bad. There’s nothing, to my recollection. I just wanted a drink.’

Later that afternoon, Hilder was seen on CCTV buying Febreze air-freshener and bin liners at Nisa on Clarendon Road, Southsea. One of the Febreze bottles was recovered nearly empty at the flat.

Hilder denied it was for covering the smell left by cutting Mr Guy up, but because his cat Tinker sometimes made the flat smell. He said it was nearly empty because it had leaked.

(Proceeding)

JURY IS ASKED TO EXAMINE MEDICAL EVIDENCE ON DAVID HILDER’S STATE OF MIND

THE jury has been invited to consider the possibility that the man accused of murdering David Guy acted in a momentary loss of self-control.

When opening the defence’s case into David Hilder’s trial for murdering Mr Guy, William Mousley QC said his client was described by many ‘as a kind, honest, generous and non-violent man’.

But he also said Hilder has an IQ of just 63, putting him in the bottom one per cent, is barely literate, and struggles a great deal with his memory.

He added: ‘Maybe something happened that was serious enough in David Hilder’s mind to cause him to lose his self-control and his particular characteristics would make him someone who was vulnerable to losing control.

‘What is the significance of that in the context of this case?

‘Well, the significance is that it may have on a matter of law reduced his responsibility if you conclude he did kill David Guy, and it may cause you to reach a conclusion that while he is responsible for the killing, he is not guilty of murder, but is guilty of manslaughter.’

The defence will be calling a doctor who examined Hilder after his arrest.

Mr Mousley added: ‘The focus of the evidence you are going to hear from now on is concerned with his mental state, on the assumption that you do decide he did it.

‘There’s medical evidence that you will hear that we invite you to conclude that when he killed Mr Guy, is that on this medical information, his responsibility for it is reduced.’