Body in a bag trial: Jury told of ‘punch-up’ weeks before murder

CAREFUL Officers search Southsea beach after the body of David Guy was discovered in July last year
CAREFUL Officers search Southsea beach after the body of David Guy was discovered in July last year
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A MAN on trial over the gruesome murder of his friend admitted giving the victim a black eye in the weeks before he died.

David Hilder is accused of murdering David Guy at some point between June 30 and July 3 last year.

At Winchester Crown Court yesterday the jury heard from friends of both the men who said they had got into an argument because Hilder, 47, of Richmond Road, Southsea, felt Mr Guy had been neglecting his cat.

Roger Tickle, who had known both men for more than a decade, owned a unit at White Heather Transport, a garage and small business complex in Richmond Road.

It was also where Hilder based his scrap metal business and where Mr Guy slept in a camper van.

Mr Tickle told the court the incident with the black eye happened about a month before Mr Guy’s death.

He said: ‘They were quite good friends, quite close.

‘The only time I would say they did not get on very well was when David Guy was drunk.

‘But, then again, he had a drinking problem.

‘Basically David Hilder would tell him to go away and sober up. Afterwards they would make up.’

Mr Tickle added: ‘David Hilder gave him a clip round the earhole one day for not looking after his cat properly.’

The crown say Hilder killed Mr Guy, cutting up his body in his lock-up, before riding around Southsea on his bike, which had a large basket on the front, to dispose of the body parts.

John Skerratt told the court he had known Mr Guy since he took him on at his garage, Owl Motors, also at the White Heather Complex, as a teenager.

He described the relationship between the two men as love–hate.

He said: ‘Little Chopper (Mr Guy’s nickname) had a drink problem. When he was drunk he was obnoxious and difficult to get along with. When he was not he was a different person, easy to get along with and quite a nice little lad.

‘When he (Mr Guy) was drunk, he (Hilder) did not want anything to do with him. When Chopper was sober and reasonable he was welcoming. He would give him food and a bath. They were very much friends when Chopper was sober.’

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

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



The court heard from Carole Skerratt, a long-term friend of David Guy.

Her family owns Owl Motors where Mr Guy, 30, would sometimes do odd jobs.

In her police statement, which was read to the court, she said: ‘He came into some money, about £70,000, about 18 months ago.

‘After coming into the money he moved in with a man called Steve, and Steve and his friends helped Dave spend his money.’

She also described how, on June 28, a few days before he died, he arrived at her place of work asking for help to withdraw money from his Nationwide account.

Mrs Skerratt explained to police how she confirmed who he was on headed business paper.

An hour later he gave her flowers to thank her. She said: ‘He stood there looking sheepish and said they gave him the money and “this is for you”.

‘I gave him a hug and I did not see him again.’