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Lincoln Crown Court murder trial Tony McDermott was covered in blood when he was found in Grantham

Police found a man who was not breathing and covered in blood after they were called to a multi-occupancy house in Grantham, a murder trial jury was told.

Tony McDermott, 38, was pronounced dead at the property in Eton Street, Grantham, after police and paramedics responded to a 999 call.

Nicholas Ward, 37, who lived at the property, denies murdering Mr McDermott, during the early hours of Saturday, October 14, last year.

Tony McDermott
Tony McDermott

Mr Ward also denies a second charge of manslaughter relating to the alleged unlawful killing of Mr McDermott on the same date.

Prosecutors allege Mr McDermott was murdered by Mr Ward after accusing him of stealing his work tablet computer.

Jurors at Lincoln Crown Court heard the two men were close friends and had spent the evening drinking at Mr Ward's home in Eton Street.

But the prosecution claim Mr Ward "reacted very badly indeed" after forming the view that his work computer had been stolen.

Mr McDermott died from heavy blood loss after suffering a number of knife injuries including a stab wound which went all the way through his left leg, the court was told.

Simon Ash KC, prosecuting, said a 999 call was made by another resident of the Eton Street property at 4.21am. He stated that he found one of his housemates covered in blood and not breathing.

Jurors heard evidence from a police response officer who was working in the Sleaford and Grantham area. He arrived at the property along with paramedics shortly after 4.30am.

The officer said: "I immediately saw a male lying on the floor. There was a pool of blood on the carpet, and blood on his face.

"This male did not appear to be breathing."

The officer added: "I noticed there was blood at several locations on the ground floor."

Jurors heard the officer opened the door to Mr Ward's room but he was not present.

A search of the property found Mr Ward's National Grid work tablet computer in his own bag.

The prosecution allege Mr Ward made a number of phone calls to friends after leaving his Eton Street address. He was arrested in Springfield Road at 5.21am the same day.

CCTV footage which was exhibited to the jury showed Mr Ward walking along Bridge End Road near McDonald's shortly after 5am.

Police interviewed Mr Ward 10 times but on each occasion he either remained silent or answered no comment, Mr Ash told the jury.

In a prepared statement which was handed to the police following his final interview Mr Ward said he could not assist with what had happened to Mr McDermott in his living room.

The trial continues.

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