12th Jul, 2020

Prosecutor calls defendant a 'serial liar' as Desmond Wooding murder trial nears end

Harry Leach 6th Mar, 2020 Updated: 6th Mar, 2020

DEFENDANT Adam Mason was called a ‘serial liar’ who has changed his story ‘time and time again’ during the prosecution’s closing statement.

Adrian Keeling QC questioned why Mason, 33, of Plough Lane, Tibberton had told police different accounts of what happened on June 23 last year.

Addressing the jury, he said the evidence had come together like a ‘jigsaw’, leaving them with no doubt that Mason murdered Droitwich pensioner Desmond Wooding – a crime Mason vehemently denies.

“There were no signs of forced entry at Mr Wooding’s home where he was murdered or anything stolen,” said Mr Keeling.

“You wouldn’t be wrong to think that this was a personal attack. Mr Wooding may have even invited Mason inside his home.

“The agreed evidence shows that the Mason family, including Adam Mason’s grandmother, Barbara, and grandad, Colin, did not like Mr Wooding because of his marriage to Colin’s sister, Maureen.

“Mason admitted in a police interview that he and the rest of the family had fallen out with Mr Wooding because he was not nice to Maureen, a dispute Mason later said he ‘knew nothing about’.

“In his first police interview he told officers that Mr Wooding lived on Vines Lane and even described exactly where his house was on the street.

“He even admitted to visiting the property with his grandmother.

“But later, he told police he did not know where Mr Wooding lived and said he hadn’t seen him for six years, last time being a chance meeting on Ombersley Street.

“This is a lie and in cross examination he couldn’t accept that he had lied, instead he just continued to do so.”

Mr Keeling asked the jury to think about the time Mason was arrested at Birmingham Airport after a holiday in Tenerife with his girlfriend.

“The police officer told Mason that he was being arrested over Mr Wooding’s murder and Mason replied ‘who?’ – not ‘what’ or ‘why’.

“But we know from the agreed evidence that he found out about the murder while on holiday because he discussed it with his grandmother over the telephone.”

Mason, who has previous convictions for criminal damage, told the court earlier this week that he did not know Mr Wooding’s address until he saw it in the local paper.

He said he had drunk 13 or 14 pints of cider and also whiskey before leaving the Gardeners Arms pub on Vines Lane at around 8.40pm and was ‘stumbling all over the place’.

CCTV footage showed Mason punching two pint glasses in the pub’s beer garden but he said he was just playing a game with his friend called ‘think fast’.

When asked why it took him 20 minutes to walk from one side of Vines Lane to the other, he said he had to stop because his back was hurting.

He was meeting his uncle Mark Mason, 55, who is on trial for assisting an offender due to driving the suspect away from the scene.

Mr Keeling added: “There are cameras at both ends of Vines Lane, one at the pub and the other on a resident’s property.

“We know that any vehicle or person on the pavement will be captured by these cameras because Mr Wooding’s house is in the middle.

“Every single person was accounted for by police when they extensively checked those CCTV images.

“The only person unaccounted for is Adam Mason, for around 20 minutes, which matches the time when Mr Wooding’s neighbour said he saw someone in his doorway.

“When he was picked up by his uncle, Mason told police he was driven straight home in about ‘7 minutes or so’ but that was simply not true.

“The pair went to an isolated location to, they say, walk their dogs.

“Or perhaps it was to talk about what had happened away from prying eyes.”

The murder weapon, allegedly a missing knife from Mr Wooding’s kitchen, has never been found.

Earlier in the trial the jury heard how DNA found on Adam Mason’s dog lead was ‘430,000 times more likely’ to belong to Mr Wooding than someone else.

Defence Barrister, David Mason QC, said it’s possible that the dog lead picked up his DNA by being dragged near to Mr Wooding’s home.

Mr Keeling added: “While I won’t dispute it is possible, as forensic scientist Michael Wheelhouse told us, I ask the jury to consider how likely that scenario is.

“What would need to be on the floor for that to happen? His blood? Semen? Saliva?

“In an early interview Mason said his dog was on the lead the whole time when walking down Vines Lane but that account has been wholly changed since.

“He now says the dog was off the lead and running around.

“Again, he’s lying to us.”

David Mason QC will close next Monday.

The trial continues.

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