Axe murderer ‘threw weapon at man accused of cleaning it’, jury told

Christopher Butler
Christopher Butler
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KILLER Brendon Willis threw the axe he used to murder a man at another man accused of cleaning it and hiding it, jurors have been told.

Yasmin McCue yesterday told Winchester Crown Court that Willis, 33, threw the axe toward Neal Stacey when all three went to Stacey’s home in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

The axe used to kill Christopher Butler

The axe used to kill Christopher Butler

The court heard that Willis, formerly of Waverley Road, Southsea, has pleaded guilty to murdering Christopher Butler, 27, at his address on New Year’s Eve.

Stacey is on trial accused of perverting the course of justice by cleaning and then concealing the axe in a bath in his back garden, also in Waverley Road.

CCTV images shown to the jury show Stacey, Willis and Miss McCue, 24, together outside Kwiki-Mart in Albert Road, Southsea after the killing.

Questioned by prosecutor Robert Forrest, Miss McCue said: ‘He used to go round saying if he was going to go to jail he was going to go for something big.

‘It weren’t just me he used to say it to. He used to say to loads of people “I want to know what it’s like to kill somebody”.

‘He also talked about other things like sexual violence, things on TV, all that. It was all Brendon.’

She added: ‘He wanted to murder someone and Chris, he had to be there, the wrong place, wrong time.

Miss McCue also told the jury she saw no blood on Willis’ clothing in the early hours of New Year’s Day and Stacey told her Willis killed Mr Butler while naked.

Asked about her claim that Stacey cleaned the axe, Miss McCue said: ‘I can understand why he done it. He wanted to keep the axe off this geezer, he’d just been told he murdered Butler.

‘Nobody is going to let him hold the axe if he could have got the axe away from him. At the end of the day that could have been me or Neal.’

Miss McCue, who said she took heroin, drank and smoked the legal high Spice, said Stacey cleaned the axe in a sink with his hand and soap for 30 seconds.

When asked by Mr Forrest, Miss McCue denied telling police who found the axe in the bath.

She said: ‘I don’t know what’s taken you so long, everyone knew where the weapon was.’

But Louisa Bagley, for Stacey, put it to Miss McCue that she had hidden the axe, not Stacey and that he had been proecting Miss McCue. In the witness box Miss McCue said she had not touched the axe.

Miss McCue said: ‘I never washed the axe, I never touched the axe.’

Stacey, 49, formerly of Waverley Road, denies perverting the course of justice.

Proceeding