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Jury is out on Pool murder trial

By WBKatri  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

Peter Oates, 51, a resident of a Pool supported housing home died in March.

Peter Oates, 51, a resident of a Pool supported housing home died in March.

THE JURY in the trial of a chronic alcoholic accused of murdering a Pool man earlier this year has retired to consider its verdict.

Somes McFarland, 28, of Fore Street, admitted killing but denied murdering fellow resident Peter Oates, 51, Truro Crown Court was told this week.

​Mr Oates died of head, neck and chest injuries following an attack during which he suffered 19 fractured ribs and brain trauma.

McFarland, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, claimed he was drunk and had no recollection of the incident.

The court heard how on March 24 McFarland had entered Mr Oates's room when another resident called Warren Gill arrived.

McFarland first attacked Mr Gill by squeezing his throat, hitting him on the head and holding him against a wall.

He then turned on Mr Oates, threw him onto a bed and put his hand around his throat.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels, QC, said: "When Mr Oates asked what he had done wrong McFarland put his foot on his chest and stamped on him two or three times.

"He then put both feet on Mr Oates's chest and jumped up and down, not from any height, but at least six times.

"He was still talking about respect, saying, 'I am a killer, I am a crusher'."

McFarland then left the room, leaving Mr Oates dead or dying.

On the second day of the trial, pathologist Amanda Jeffrey told the jury some of the minor injuries may have been caused by him stumbling into things when intoxicated but the injuries to his face, chest and neck could not be explained by falls or faints.

The neck, she said, showed a degree of blunt force trauma, mainly compression, or direct blows, punches, kicks or stamping.

Yesterday consultant psychiatrist, Dr Ekkehart Staufenburg told the jury McFarland

had no previous convictions or cautions for violence and there was a complete absence of such behaviour in his school and medical records.

"There are no psycopathic traits in him," he declared.

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