25th Sep, 2020

Desmond Wooding murder trial: 'Evidence does not add up', says defence

Harry Leach 9th Mar, 2020 Updated: 9th Mar, 2020

ADAM Mason’s defence argued that he should be acquitted of Desmond Wooding’s murder because the prosecution’s evidence ‘simply does not add up’.

Barrister David Mason QC said the witness statements of Keith Evans and Natalie Parsons, heard earlier in the trial, provided his 33-year-old client with an alibi for June 23 last year.

Mr Evans, who lives next door to Mr Wooding’s former Vines Lane address, told the court that his dog, Swift, began barking when an unknown man walked up Mr Wooding’s driveway.

Mr Evans said the man visited the 80-year-old’s home ‘sometime after 7.30pm’ and noted that Swift was barking for ten minutes.

Addressing the jury, Mr Mason said: “Over the road is Ms Parsons, who was upstairs when she heard Swift barking.

“When prosecutor Mr Adrian Keeling asked her what time it was she said it was 8.20pm.

“She knew it was that time because she looked at her clock again when Swift had stopped barking and it was 8.30pm.

“Well thank goodness for CCTV ladies and gentlemen because we know where Adam Mason was at 8.20pm on June 23. He was in the Gardeners Arms.

“In fact we know he didn’t leave the pub until 8.42pm – 22 minutes after this unknown man was seen in Mr Wooding’s doorway.

“This evidence, brought forward by the prosecution, proves that Adam Mason is innocent.”

Mr Mason asked the jury to also consider Mr Evans’ description of the man seen in Mr Wooding’s doorway.

“The man was balding, gaunt – hollow cheeks – was in his early-to-mid 40s and had a dog with him on a thin rope.

“He said he was wearing a three-quarter length top coat which he thought was strange because it was a ‘really warm day’.”

Pointing to Adam Mason in the dock, Mr Mason asked the jury if that description matched his client.

He said it did not.

“Gaunt?” he said, “Adam Mason was 17 stone on June 23 last year.”

The court was then shown CCTV footage of Mason wearing a t-shirt while he was walking down Vines Lane at 9.04pm.

Mr Mason added: “Actually, the description given by Mr Evans matches the dodgy-looking man seen on Vines Lane with his dog the day before Mr Wooding was murdered.

“A man who was seen staring at 63 Vines Lane for some time and has never been traced by police.”

The footage also showed Mason’s dog, Savvy, running away from her owner and towards Bromsgrove Road.

Mr Mason said the small traces of Mr Wooding’s DNA, found on the lead, could have easily been transferred while it was being dragged across the floor.

Defending his client, Mr Mason added that there was ‘simply no motive’ for Mason to kill Mr Wooding and that a ‘family feud from six or seven years ago’ did not count.

“But for the sake of this trial, let’s pretend Adam Mason did kill Mr Wooding.

“After leaving the pub he would have had to go straight to Mr Wooding’s house, taken a knife out of his kitchen and stabbed him 11 times without leaving a single trace.

“Because neither his fingerprints or his DNA was found inside the house.

“One of the fingerprints discovered, however, has never been identified.

“He’d have to be a remarkably lucky killer wouldn’t he? To have killed Mr Wooding and then cleaned all of the surfaces in the space of 20 minutes?

“He was pissed – he was not a sober, calculated killer.

“We know from CCTV footage of Adam Mason after Mr Wooding’s alleged time of death that he was not wearing gloves and did not appear to have a murder weapon on him.

“He even stopped to speak to a family who lived nearby to Mr Wooding about their new car, whether it was a V8 engine or not.

“Are these the actions of someone who had just killed Mr Wooding in cold blood?

“If so, he must be the coolest and calmest murderer in history.

“We don’t know for sure the exact time that Mr Wooding was killed and the CCTV on the Gardeners Arms stopped at 10.30pm that night.

“The killer would have been able to walk past the pub no problem after that time without being picked up by the camera.”

The jury is expected to retire at some point tomorrow.

They were told by Judge Robert Juckes QC that they can only find Mark Mason, 55, of Plough Lane, Tibberton, guilty if they find his nephew, Adam Mason, of the same address, guilty first.

The prosecution say Mark Mason drove his nephew away from the scene knowing him to be guilty of murder.

Mark Mason denies any wrong doing.

The trial continues.

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