Man accused of harbouring murderer says he had no knowledge of manhunt

A police crime team attends the scene of a fatal stabbing in Dove Close, Wecock Farm
A police crime team attends the scene of a fatal stabbing in Dove Close, Wecock Farm
Portsmouth Crown Court

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A MAN denies hiding a murder suspect in his flat and helping him to avoid arrest.

Robert Cahill, 24, said he had no knowledge of the police manhunt for Sean Bailey following a fatal stabbing in Wecock Farm – despite there being widespread media coverage of the search.

Bailey was jailed for life last December for murdering 27-year-old dad-of-one Simon Warton on April 12 last year.

Cahill, of Broadmere Avenue, Leigh Park, appeared at Winchester Crown Court yesterday and said he spent most of the time playing on his Xbox or sleeping while Bailey was at his Southampton House flat.

Cahill said he slept during the day of April 12 after spending the night out drinking. He said he woke up at about 10.30pm when he heard his door buzzer and let in his friend, Danny Evans.

Cahill said: ‘I sat down and Danny walked in with someone else. He was wearing a scarf round his face and had a hat on.’

Cahill said he realised it was Bailey – who he described as an acquaintance – when he took the scarf off.

Cahill said: ‘I had on my Xbox and we were having a drink. Sean had asked if he could go on my laptop.’

He said he woke up on April 13 and found his phone had had its battery and SIM card removed. While Bailey and Evans were at his flat, Cahill said he walked to the Job Centre in Havant, but did not see any news placards.

The next morning, on April 14, Cahill said he saw a report about the hunt for Bailey on ITV news.

He said: ‘I saw a big picture of Sean on the television. Sean immediately started pleading to me that it was an accident and he did not mean to do it. I asked him if he was going to hand himself in. He said: “Yes, as soon as I have got my head sorted”.’

Cahill added: ‘I was scared and worried about what was going to happen. I was worried for my safety.’

Cahill went out to walk his dog that evening and was arrested by a non-uniformed police officer as he walked back from Littleton Grove, Leigh Park. By that time, armed police had surrounded Southampton House.

Jane Terry, prosecuting, suggested Cahill whistled loudly to alert Bailey, but Cahill said he was fetching his dog.

Cahill denies one count of assisting an offender.