Man who dragged grandmother onto street tells murder trial he’s ‘sorry’ for calling her a ‘scumbag’
A homeowner who dragged a frail grandmother onto the street after she mistook his coastal house for a seafront B&B today told a murder trial he was ‘truly sorry’ for calling her a ‘scumbag’ and a ‘thieving c**t’ – as he denied meaning to kill her during the attack.
David Redfern, 46, was furious when he saw Margaret Barnes, 71, had undressed, unpacked and climbed into a bed at his house in Barmouth, North Wales, on July 11 last year, a court heard.
He called her a ‘thiefing c***’ before pulling her by her ankles out of her bed and down the stairs, ‘stamped’ on her and threw her suitcase on to the street, jurors at Caernarfon Crown Court were told.
Redfern told a court today that he had been out that night for a drink – but returned to find his own bedroom door locked at his home in a popular tourist town.
He and his partner found the spare key to discover Mrs. Barnes sitting in her bed drinking gin, her suitcase open, clothes strewn around with her false teeth on a side table.
David Redfern (pictured) was furious when he saw Margaret Barnes, 71, had undressed, unpacked and climbed into a bed at her house in Barmouth, North Wales, a court heard
He called Mrs Barnes (pictured) a ‘thiefing c***’ before pulling her by her ankles out of her bed and down the stairs, ‘stamped’ on her and threw her suitcase on to the street, jurors at Caernarfon Crown Court were told
Ms Barnes ended up mistakenly entering Belmont House, Redfern’s seaside property in Barmouth
Redfern admitted he made ‘appalling’ comments caught on a Hive camera recording at his front door. He said: ‘I thought Mrs Barnes was very drunk, I am really sorry for the comments I made. I lost my temper towards her that evening, and said some appalling things.’
A jury heard he was recorded saying: ‘All I have done is eject her from my house.’ The court heard that he also said in the recording: ‘There’s nothing wrong with her and all she is is p***ed.’
On the CCTV recordings, Redfern was heard saying: ‘Nicky, she’s just trying it on.’
He called Mrs. Barnes a ‘scumbag.’
Mr Redfern said in his evidence: ‘There was a lady lying in our bed, drinking and smoking.
‘There was a black travel case open on the floor, clothes hanging up and strewn around the room.’
The court heard shocked partner Nicola Learoyd-Lewis said: ‘Who the hell are you? What are you doing in our bedroom?’
Redfern said: ‘It felt like she’d been taken aback and she mumbled something like: ‘This is my room and I’m meant to be here’.
‘Margaret Barnes made a lunging gesture towards Nikki, so I stepped in between them, grabbed Margaret Barnes’ shoulders and said, ‘Right, that’s enough, you’re getting out of our house’.
He described to the jury how he and Mrs. Barnes both fell to the floor at the top of the stairs, before he dragged her down by her legs.
He said: ‘It all happened so incredibly quickly. She was struggling and kicking out the whole time, holding on to the bannister.’
Redfern, of Barmouth, denies both the murder or manslaughter of Mrs Barnes.
Mrs Barnes ended up in the street – and Redfern claimed she made a grab for Nicola believing she had her handbag.
He said: ‘I went over to put myself in between them, but slipped and tripped on the way and collided with Margaret Barnes.
‘I cannot remember the mechanics of the collision, but I made contact with her like a failed football challenge.’
Caernarfon Crown Court heard that Redfern (pictured) had drunk six or seven pints and a gin and tonic earlier that evening
Mrs Barnes had been booked into the Wavecrest B’n’B (pictured) which was several doors down on Marine Parade
The court heard he had earlier drunk six or seven pints and a gin and tonic, and they had returned home and fallen asleep watching Antiques Roadshow.
But when they headed to bed at around 11pm, they found their bedroom door locked.
The prosecution claimed that Redfern kicked or stamped on Mrs Barnes during the evening, but when questioned by his defense barrister, Mark Cotter KC, he denied this.
‘My best recollection is that I’ve collided with Mrs Barnes and to my best recollection, part of my leg or knee has come into contact with her.!
Redfern’s defense barrister asked him: ‘Did you murder Margaret Barnes?’
‘No’, he replied.
Prosecutor Mr Jones said: ‘This is you lying to mislead police and minimize your actions to justify them, and make Mrs Barnes’s behavior sound worse.’
Redfern, of Barmouth, denies both the murder or manslaughter of Mrs. Barnes.
The trial at Caernarfon Crown Court is expected to last about three weeks.