One of the murder suspects allegedly involved in the gruesome killing of York man Francis McNally had a track record for violence and robbery, a jury was told.
Curtis Turpin, 35, is one of two men accused of murdering Mr McNally who was allegedly kicked, stamped on, strangled with a pair of pyjama bottoms and struck with a metal vacuum pipe.
Mr McNally, 35, was staying over at Turpin’s flat in Markham Crescent, York, when he was allegedly “beaten and strangled to death”.
Prosecuting barrister Ben Campbell said that in July 2009 Turpin was convicted of wounding following an incident at a property in York where he punched the male victim repeatedly in the face and demanded his wallet and phone.
Turpin then pinned the man to the floor and squeezed his throat until he was struggling to breathe, said Mr Campbell.
In April 2014, Turpin was convicted of robbery following an incident in the early hours of the morning when a man was attacked as he was walked along Huntington Road. Turpin was with another man who pushed him from the front while Turpin grabbed his neck from behind.
Mr Campbell said the victim felt a “sharp point behind his neck” and feared he was about to have his throat slit. Turpin and his cohort demanded money and the victim handed over some cash.
Mr Campbell said forensic scientists who examined the bloody footprints inside Turpin’s flat following his arrest for murder had found that the sole pattern matched that of the suspect’s size 9 Reebok trainers.
They also found footmarks which were consistent with the sole pattern of Hudson’s Puma trainers.
Drink and drugs
Defence barrister Mark McKone KC, for Turpin, called his client to the witness box on Monday afternoon following the conclusion of the prosecution case.
Turpin said he had known his co-accused Hudson since he was 15 years’ old and his friend would stay at his flat for a few days at a time.
When asked how he and Hudson would spend their time together, Turpin relied: “Drink and drugs; not good really.”
Turpin said he had allowed Mr McNally, whom he hadn’t known long, to stay at his flat for a while “to get his head down”.
He said he and Mr McNally, whom he described as a “drinker”, had been “listening to a bit of music, talking, having a drink” on the night he died.
He claimed they hadn’t had an argument as alleged by the prosecution and that he allowed Mr McNally to sleep on his sofa in the living room.
Turpin said he left the flat at about 6.50am the following morning and left Mr McNally asleep on the sofa. He said he spent the rest of the day “buying alcohol” and bumped into Hudson and another named man outside the Arc Light homeless shelter in Union Terrace.
When asked by Mr McKone what he had planned to do for the rest of the day after meeting Hudson, Turpin replied: “Drinking, drugs, music.”
‘Eruption of anger’
Turpin is accused of kicking and stamping on “defenceless” Mr McNally and strangling him with the pyjamas.
Hudson, 41, is accused of battering Mr McNally over the head with a Henry Hoover vacuum pipe and kicking and stamping on him.
Turpin and Hudson were said to be heavily drunk at the time of the “terrible” incident which occurred in the early evening of October 27, 2021, after an apparent drink-fuelled argument.
Nicholas Lumley KC, prosecutor-in-chief, said both suspects were so drunk they were unable to flee the scene.
He said Mr McNally had done nothing to deserve such a gruesome fate and was the victim of Turpin and Hudson’s “eruption of anger”.
Mr Lumley said Turpin and Hudson had led a “pretty bleak existence”, with “most days being given over to bouts of heavy drinking”.
Turpin claimed he played no part in the fatal attack. He denies murder and manslaughter and assaulting his erstwhile friend Sara Green, causing actual bodily harm, in a separate incident on September 11, 2021, in which the York woman was allegedly choked.
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 grievous harm.
The trial continues.