Two men have gone on trial accused of the gruesome murder of a man in a York flat.
Francis David McNally was staying over at the home of 35-year-old Curtis Turpin on Markham Crescent, York, when he was killed.
Turpin is accused of Mr McNally’s murder, by kicking and stamping on the “defenceless” victim, and strangling him with the pyjamas.
Turpin’s co-accused, Adam Hudson, 41, is accused of battering Mr McNally over the head with a Henry Hoover vacuum pipe and kicking and stamping on him.
At Leeds Crown Court today (Tuesday, 17 January), the prosecution opened its case against the two suspects who were said to be paralytic through drink at the time of the “terrible” incident.
Prosecutor Nicholas Lumley said Mr McNally, 35, was killed in the early evening of 27 October, 2021, after an apparent drink-fuelled argument.
He said both suspects were so drunk they had been unable to flee the scene.
“The three men were together in the flat in York – two of them came out of the flat alive; one of them did not, for he had been beaten and strangled to death by the other two,” added Mr Lumley.
Pool of blood
Turpin, of Markham Crescent, York, claimed he was the “peacekeeper” in the incident and that he played no part in the fatal attack on Mr McNally.
He denies murder and manslaughter.
Hudson, of Rowntree Avenue, York, admits manslaughter but denies murder. He accepts using violence and playing a part in Mr McNally’s death but denies intending to kill him or cause him really serious harm.
Towards the end of September 2021, Turpin invited murder victim Mr McNally to sleep at his flat for a while.
“That arrangement was short-lived and came at a time when Turpin and Hudson decided they wanted him out of the flat,” added Mr Lumley.
“It was a decision they made when heavily in drink, having consumed what to most of us would be huge amounts of vodka.”
Police were called to the ground-floor flat at about 5.30pm on 27 September and found Mr McNally’s body on the living-room floor, surrounded by a pool of blood.
The TV was blaring in the background and just a few feet away, in the bedroom, they found Turpin and Hudson splayed out on the floor, “comatose” through drink.
Inside the bedroom where Hudson and Turpin were “out cold” on the floor, officers found two blood-stained metal vacuum pipes. There were blood spots on the ceiling and bloody footprints.
“The two men were roused by police eventually and arrested for murder,” said Mr Lumley.
‘Bang to rights’
At the police station, Hudson allegedly told officers: “I killed him; I did it. Curtis did it as well. He did most of the damage: he strangled him to death.”
Mr Lumley added: “(Hudson) looked at the blood on his hands and said, ‘I’m bang to rights: that’s (Mr McNally’s) blood.’”
Hudson allegedly told police he had punched Mr McNally on the nose, causing bleeding.
“Hudson said that Mr Turpin grabbed the Hoover pipe and hit him [Mr McNally] a number of times,” added Mr Lumley.
A scientific expert who examined the blood stains said it appeared that Mr McNally, who was also heavily drunk, had been laying on the floor and was unable to move or defend himself when he was attacked.
Blood stains were found on Hudson’s trainers and grey jogging bottoms, suggesting he had kicked or stamped on Mr McNally, mainly to his head.
There were “multiple” blood spots also found on Turpin’s trainers and tracksuit bottoms, as well as a blood around the sole of his training shoes, indicative of stamping or kicking.
One of the blood-stained vacuum cleaner pipes had a dent in it, suggesting blows had been delivered with the weapon including to the head. A partial palm print on the pipe with the dent was shown to be Hudson’s.
A post-mortem showed that Mr McNally had suffered a broken nose, black eyes and a fracture to his neck, ostensibly as a result of strangulation, as well as marks and grazes, which were consistent with stamping, kicking and punching.
The pathologist said Mr McNally had suffered “multiple blows” to his heavily-blood-stained head which would have knocked him unconscious and made him struggle for breath.
Mr Lumley said that about a month before Mr McNally was killed, Turpin was involved in another choking incident at his home involving York woman Sara Green, which the prosecutor claimed “demonstrated (Turpin’s) capacity for spontaneous, unprovoked violence”.
He said that during the incident at Turpin’s flat just off Haxby Road, he had grabbed her “with force” around the neck during a drunken attack.
A named male witness, who was at the flat along with Hudson, said that Ms Green fell to the floor and lost consciousness.
Ms Green went to one of Turpin’s neighbours for help and police were called out, by which time Turpin had disappeared, said Mr Lumley.
Turpin was arrested but denied being responsible for her injuries. He said they had been drinking heavily and claimed he acted in self-defence and simply restrained Ms Green.
Another named man, who had been sleeping rough in York, claimed that Turpin had once attacked him in a similar way. Mr Lumley said Turpin had invited the man to stay at his flat for a while, but once inside the property Turpin “lost his temper” and wrapped his arm “tightly around his neck”.
Turpin denies assaulting Sara Green, causing actual bodily harm.
The trial continues.