9th Jul, 2020

Droitwich murder trial: Defendant phoned grandmother ‘to ask about police investigation’

Harry Leach 28th Feb, 2020 Updated: 29th Feb, 2020

THE man on trial for allegedly murdering Droitwich pensioner Desmond Wooding rang his grandmother while on holiday to ask about the police’s investigation into the killing.

Defendant Adam Leslie Mason, aged 33, of Plough Lane, Tibberton, made the call while in Tenerife with his girlfriend last June – days after Mr Wooding was found with 11 stab wounds to his neck and chest.

The witness statement of Barbara Mason, his grandmother, was read out to the jury at Worcester Crown Court today.

In her statement she told police: “I received a call from Adam letting me know he had landed safely.

“He told me he had lost his mobile phone and banks cards while travelling to the hotel from the airport, and was using his girlfriend’s phone to call me.

“He only asked me about Desmond one time out of all the calls we had while he was away.

“He asked if I’d heard anything more about the murder investigation but I told him I hadn’t.”

Barbara, who described Mason as ‘a good grandson’, first heard about Mr Wooding’s death from her friends, shortly after the 80-year-old’s body was discovered at his Vines Lane home on June 24, 2019.

She had a close relationship with Adam’s great aunt, Maureen, who was married to Mr Wooding before she passed away in 2013.

According to Barbara, Mr Wooding was not well liked by the Mason family because ‘he wasn’t nice’ and ‘didn’t treat Maureen well’.

On day five of the trial the jury was shown poor-quality CCTV footage of Mason and his dog coming out of the Gardeners Arms pub on Vines Lane on June 23 at 8.42pm.

Allegedly around the time of Mr Wooding’s death.

It showed him returning to the pub at 9.12pm before leaving again shortly after.

He was then picked up in a van by his uncle Mark Mason, 55, also of Plough Lane, Tibberton, who is on trial charged with assisting an offender.

In Adam Mason’s witness statement, read in court, he told police that he had drunk 10 pints of beer on June 23.

He said it took him 10 to 15 minutes to walk down Vines Lane to meet his uncle after phoning him for a lift.

When asked why it had taken him so long, he said because his legs were hurting and he was drunk.

He said he rang his uncle as he left the pub because he ‘hadn’t seen him in a while’ and ‘knew he would be around’.

“It took us around seven minutes to drive to mine from the Gardeners Arms.

“Mark dropped me off at my house and then I went straight to sleep next to my girlfriend.”

Earlier this week Prosecutor Mr Adrian Keeling told the court that police had tracked the pair on CCTV showing them going to an isolated location outside of Droitwich for around an hour before arriving back at Adam Mason’s home.

Today, three witnesses were called to the stand.

They were family members Brian, Shane and Latricia Cossum-Lawley who all live near to Mr Wooding’s former home.

On the evening of June 23 brothers Brian and Shane were outside fixing Brian’s new Ford Mustang.

CCTV footage showed Adam Mason speaking to them at 9.10pm.

On the stand Shane described him as ‘a normal guy’, ‘relaxed’ and inquisitive about the car’s engine.

The conversation was said to last under a minute before Mason continued walking.

The trial continues on Monday, March 2.

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