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Grantham man tells Lincoln Crown Court says he ‘must have’ killed Tony McDermott as murder trial continues

A Grantham man accused of murder today (Wednesday, April 24) told jurors he must have killed his friend.

Nicholas Ward, 37, is on trial at Lincoln Crown Court charged with murdering Tony McDermott, 38, at his Eton Street home on October 13.

Ward, of Eton Street, Grantham, also denies a second charge of manslaughter relating to the unlawful killing of Mr McDermott on the same date.

Tony McDermott.
Tony McDermott.

The prosecution allege Mr Ward inflicted 51 knife injuries to Mr McDermott during a two hour episode of drunken and cocaine fuelled violence after wrongly accusing him of stealing his work tablet computer.

Mr Ward was today questioned by prosecution barrister Simon Ash KC who suggested he had "lied and lied again" to cover up his repeated attacks on Mr McDermott.

"You now say Mr McDermott started the violence and came at you with a knife," Mr Ash asked Mr Ward in cross-examination.

"Those claims emerged for the first time on 28 March, five months after the night you killed Mr McDermott

"There was no hint of these things in what you said to your friends that morning, these claims about Mr McDermott."

"Having killed your friend, you are now lying about him," Mr Ash suggested to Mr Ward

"After losing your temper because of your mistake about the tablet, and because you were drunk and had taken cocaine you inflicted all these injuries deliberately on Mr McDermott?"

Mr Ward, giving evidence from the witness box, replied: "No."

"So when you inflicted these 51 knife wounds, including eleven stab wounds and five chop wounds what was your intention?," Mr Ash also asked Mr Ward.

Mr Ward replied: "I don't know."

During his evidence Mr Ward claimed he must have lost control after he was punched by Mr McDermott during an argument over his work tablet.

"Can you tell us what you remember about losing control?," the prosecutor asked Mr Ward, who answered: "No."

When asked why?, Mr Ward replied: "I can't remember."

Mr Ward said he could only remember Mr McDermott being stabbed in the leg by accident and claimed he later "came round" to find his friend dead on the floor.

"Are you deliberately using the phrase 'I came round' because it helps you with what you are saying about loss of control?," Mr Ash suggested to Mr Ward.

"They are the words I am using," Mr Ward replied.

When asked if he was asleep Mr Ward added: "I have no idea."

Mr Ward was then asked: "When you found your friend dead on the living room floor what did you do?"

"Panic," Mr Ward replied, telling jurors he attempted CPR.

But Mr Ash suggested: "It was too late Mr Ward because you had killed him by then? Hadn't you Mr Ward?

"I must have done," Mr Ward replied.

When asked why he had not called an ambulance Mr Ward replied: "I don't know"

"This wasn't an accident Mr Ward," the prosecutor suggested to the defendant, who answered: "It was."

Mr Ash stated" You were trying to hurt him?" Mr Ward replied: "No, I don't know."

Mr Ash suggested that every time Mr McDermott tried to get away he was beaten by Mr Ward.

The prosecutor alleged at some point during this long period of violence Mr Ward responded to another house mate who opened his door by saying 'stay in your room, there's nothing to see here.'

"That doesn't sound like self defence Mr Ward?," the prosecutor suggested to the defendant, who replied: "I don't know."

Mr Ward accepted he must have gone to buy cannabis after fleeing his home and leaving his dead friend behind.

Jurors heard Mr Ward has provided two defence statements and did not tell the police during his interviews what had happened in the room with Mr McDermott.

"The only true account given is the accounts you have given to your friends on the morning of 13 October," Mr Ash suggested to the defendant

"You have lied and lied again to get out of trouble," Mr Ash added.

"Your account keeps changing?" Mr Ward replied: "It doesn't change at all."

When asked why he did not explain in his interviews what happened with Tony in that room, Mr Ward replied: "Because I didn't trust them, because they were the duty solicitor."

The trial continues.

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