Body in a bag trial: Hilder’s phone call admission over death

SPOTTED David Hilder in the Nisa store, in Clarendon Road, Southsea
SPOTTED David Hilder in the Nisa store, in Clarendon Road, Southsea

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‘I think I have killed someone.’ Those were words played out in court from a telephone conversation between a police callroom operator and a man accused of butchering his friend.

A jury at Winchester Crown Court heard how David Hilder, 47, who is accused of murdering 30-year-old David Guy, travelled by train from Portsmouth to West Sussex and turned up at Shoreham police station at about 9am on July 5 last year.

As the police station’s front desk was closed, he spoke on a yellow public telephone outside the station which connects to a Sussex police call centre in Lewes.

The conversation between Hilder and Sarah Heyes, a communications investigator, was played to the jury.

Hilder told the operator: ‘I would like to speak to someone.

‘I think I have done something serious.’

Hilder suggested he may have taken an overdose as he found a ‘load of empty Nurofen wrappers’ in his pocket.

He said: ‘Little things keep triggering in my head.’

Ms Heyes asked if he needed an ambulance, the jury heard.

But Mr Hilder said: ‘Listen. I need to speak to a copper first.

‘I think I have killed someone.’

He added: ‘Sorry about this. I just ****ed up totally.’

He said he couldn’t remember how he got to Sussex.

In a later interview that day with police he said he had caught the train the night before and walked five miles from Brighton to Shoreham because he could not find the police station in Brighton.

He told police he had lived previously in Worthing and Bexhill, the court heard.

PC Stephen Miles, based at Crawley, went to the police station to meet Hilder and found him sitting on a wall outside.

He said: ‘He was dirty and dishevelled.

‘He looked like a man who had been out on the street for some time.

‘He smelt quite badly as well.’

He told the officer, who described Hilder as ‘confused’, he ‘was not sure’ what he had done.

Hilder told PC Miles he was having flashbacks, the jury heard.

Hilder told him in the station’s interview room: ‘If I have done what I think I have done, then I am going to kill myself.’

He later said: ‘I might have hurt someone at my flat.’

Hilder spoke of his friend Dave Guy, the jury heard, and said Mr Guy lived in a van on the White Heather Transport Complex in Richmond Road, Southsea.

Hilder suggested he might have had an argument with Mr Guy.

He said: ‘I may have given him a backhander.

‘That’s all.’

PC MIles asked Hilder what the argument was over, the court heard, and Hilder said it was ‘something to do with his cat’.

Hilder later told police: ‘I buggered up.

‘Did not give a damn about living.’

Meanwhile, Hampshire police had been informed and carried out a search of Hilder’s flat in Richmond Road, the court heard.

PC Miles said: ‘They found nothing suspicious. The place was untidy.

‘They found a hungry cat - nothing more.’

Hilder was taken to hospital to be examined, the court heard.

By this time Hilder had eaten a sandwich and PC Miles told the court Hilder’s mood changed when he discovered nothing suspicious had been found at his flat.

PC Miles said there was ‘a remarkable change’ in Hilder’s temperament.

He said: ‘He became visibly relieved.’

The court was told Hilder asked: ‘It must have all been in my head then?’

Officers believed they were dealing with a man who was confused after taking an overdose, the court heard.

He said he had had four cans of beer the night before.

He told police at the hospital that Mr Guy had urinated in his flat and that Mr Guy was ‘not a well man’, the court heard.

PC Miles said: ‘It struck me he was doing it for the purpose of forensic evidence.’

At 2.30pm Hilder was discharged and dropped off at Worthing railway station to catch the train back to Portsmouth.

The prosecution’s case is Hilder killed Mr Guy, dismembered his body and disposed of the body parts around the city.

Hilder, who denies murder, is accused of butchering Guy between June 30 and July 3 last year.

The court heard that foreign students discovered a black bin liner and pink curtain covering an object on Southsea beach, behind The Pyramids, on July 3.

Valentin Shuler, from Germany, who was 15 at the time, describing seeing ‘a dog or a pig’ on the beach.

Alistair Pickard, who was working for Colas doing repairs on the seafront, said: ‘I was approached by a local school teacher who stated some children had found some meat on the beach.

‘I went to look on the beach and saw pink material covering it.’

Police were called and PC Daniel Neligan went to inspect the grisly find, the court heard.

By this time it was about 5.45pm.

He said: ‘Once I saw the contents in its entirety it became evident the item had the usual characteristics of a human torso.

‘There was no head, no arms and nothing that would be considered a waistline.’

The court also heard from witnesses who had seen Hilder riding around Southsea and Eastney on his bicycle, which had a butcher’s container attached to the front.

Cardboard box was covering the container, the court heard.

At 6.45pm on July 2 Hilder went to the Nisa store, in Clarendon Road, Southsea, and bought bin liners, Febreze odour freshener, and a drink.

Ross Galloway, the sales assistant, said Hilder and he made ‘polite small talk’.