A retiree who walked into a beachfront home and climbed into bed thinking it was her B&B was discovered by the owner, dragged downstairs by her ankles and trampled on, according to a murder trial.
Margaret Barnes, 71, suffered injuries similar to those expected in a “high speed road traffic collision” and died shortly afterwards on July 11 last year, Caernarfon Crown Court was told.
David Redfern, who allegedly discovered the half-naked drunken pensioner, denies killing her outside her home in Barmouth, North Wales.
A jury heard that Redfern, 46, who is 6ft 1in tall and weighs 21kg, has ‘self-confessed’ anger management issues.
The court heard that Ms Barnes, from Birmingham, had been visiting friends in Barmouth when she went to a Spar store on July 10 last summer.
David Redfern, 46, denies murder and manslaughter
Margaret Barnes, 71, died after sustaining injuries ‘consistent with a high-speed collision’
There she bought some gin and around 10 pm she walked to Wavecrest B&B, pulling her small rolling suitcase and carrying her bag.
But he ended up at the Belmont House, a large, five-story row house that was on the same side of the street but several doors down from Wavecrest, the court heard. Redfern and his partner Nicola Learoyd-Lewis were renovating Belmont House.
Prosecutor Michael Jones KC said: “Ms Barnes had been drinking and if she thought this was Wavecrest, she went in and lay down.”
“She mistook the defendant’s address for the B&B, but it was a mistake that ultimately cost her her life.”
He went into a second-floor room, removed his false teeth and put them on a nightstand and poured a gin into a glass while holding a bottle of tonic, the court heard.
The prosecution claims that when Redfern and Ms Leroyd-Lewis entered they found the ‘fragile’ pensioner there ‘half-naked on the edge of the bed’ with her belongings strewn across the floor in a mess.
The court heard that Redfern called Ms Barnes a ‘thieving bitch’ and dragged the seven and a half stone woman down the stairs by her ankles and stomped on her outside.
The jury was told that Redfern was heard to say, “It probably didn’t do her much good for me to drag her down the stairs by her ankles.”
Later, he told police that she had been aggressive towards him, the court heard.
Her rolling suitcase had been thrown onto the street and Redfern is alleged to have taunted the injured woman as she tried to gather her belongings into her suitcase while on her knees.
Margaret Barnes had booked to stay at the Wavecrest B&B
However, the court heard in confusion that she had ended up walking to Belmont House.
Once inside, she took herself to a room and fell asleep (Pictured: a room at Belmont House)
The court heard that Margaret Barnes was dragged down the property’s stairs. Pictured: Inside the Belmont House
But he told officers he didn’t know who dumped the suitcase, the jury heard.
Emergency services were called and a neighbor was told to perform CPR, but he developed difficulty breathing and succumbed to his injuries.
The prosecution said it was “obviously surprising” that Redfern found a frail, elderly woman in one of his beds, but “what followed next was appalling.”
Mr Jones said: “Unexpected though her presence was, Ms Barnes suffered ‘catastrophic, fatal and brutal injuries at the hands of the defendant ‘who is a thug.”
Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers discovered that Ms Barnes died from severe blunt force trauma. There were broken ribs and a broken neck, consistent with being dragged down the stairs, the prosecution says.
The prosecutor said a kick or stomp outside Belmont House caused his liver to rupture and a liter of blood to his abdomen.
Jones said the defendant had used “vicious and intentional violence and language” and that by acting out of temper or gratuitously she was “guilty of her murder.”
He claims that Ms. Barnes had “lunged” at his girlfriend in the bedroom and he intervened because he thought his girlfriend was in “danger” by “bear hugging” Ms. Barnes outside the premises.
The three week trial is being heard by Judge Mr Justice Bourne KC. Redfern denies murder and manslaughter. The trial continues.