A MAN found stabbed to death in his Chester flat had been tortured in a “sadistic” attack, a jury has heard.
Chester Crown Court was told Andrew Mackenzie Nall was “beaten, kicked and stabbed dozens of times” at his home in Eversley Park, off Liverpool Road.
His body was found on August 31 with strange wounds cut into the flesh, salt rubbed on to his arm and hand and a creamy substance put in his eyes.
Christine Margaret Holleran, 50, and Gary Anthony George, 41, have gone on trial for murder. The pair deny killing 53-year-old Mr Nall and George also denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Brian James Riley.
In his opening statement yesterday, Ian Unsworth QC, prosecuting, said: “One night last summer a 53-year-old man called Andrew Mackenzie Nall was subjected to a brutal, ruthless and sadistic attack in his own home here in Chester.
“He was tortured. He was murdered.
“He was lying in his bed, his genitals partly exposed, his body surrounded by a pool of blood.”
The jury was told George, of no fixed abode, was known to both Mr Nall and Holleran, previously of Edge Lane, Liverpool.
“He was homeless, openly gay, a heavy drinker and, say the prosecution, had a keen interest in witchcraft,” said Mr Unsworth.
He said George was a fan of violent horror film The Loved Ones, which features a scene in which a man is stabbed multiple times before salt is rubbed in his wounds.
Mr Unsworth said this was a “chilling precursor” to what happened to Mr Nall.
He said it was unclear exactly when Mr Nall was killed but there was no doubt George and Holleran were in his flat on the night in question.
“This was not a burglary that went wrong,” he said.
“There is no mystique around who was present at the time of the attack. Christine Holleran was there. Gary George was there.
“With Andrew Nall dead, they simply left him and went to the supermarket together.
“They spent money in the supermarket together, money which was almost certainly Mr Nall’s.”
Mr Unsworth said George was also accused of attacking Mr Reilly about 10 hours later in Chester city centre.
“Gary George, say the prosecution, smashed a bottle, then used it to attack Mr Reilly. That, too, as you will see was an extremely violent attack.”
Mr Unsworth said Mr Nall had been in a relationship with a woman called Maria Griffin but Holleran had been living with him at his flat.
Last August the police were called to the flat several times and on one occasion Holleran told officers she and Mr Nall were getting married.
Mr Unsworth said the pair’s relationship grew “strained” in August and things came to a head in dramatic fashion on August 30.
He said Mr Nall had been with Holleran that day and had withdrawn £100 from his bank account. They got in a taxi together at about 1.45pm and Holleran was abusing Mr Nall during the journey.
Mr Unsworth said: “It seems Mrs Holleran was abusive to Mr Nall and said something about that he had done something to her that she would not forgive him for.”
Later that day, Mr Nall and George bought wine from Tesco Express in Delamere Street and cider and sherry from McColl’s in Brook Lane.
“That was at about 6.30pm – Andrew Nall was not seen alive again,” said Mr Unsworth.
He said it seemed the pair then went to Mr Nall’s flat where they were later joined by Holleran.
Together with George, Holleran went to Bargain Booze on Mill Lane, Upton, at about 9.30 that night to buy more alcohol.
Mr Unsworth said: “They purchased some sherry in Bargain Booze and Gary George spoke to the shop assistant and said something about Christine Holleran being raped the other day and he would ‘get him back’.
“That night Mr Nall was killed.”
On the morning of August 31 Mr Nall’s neighbour noticed something unusual on his doorstep and took a photograph of a knife, pair of scissors and a tie cut into pieces.
Holleran and George went to Morrison’s supermarket in Liverpool Road at about 7.50am that day and bought some cider.
Mr Unsworth told the jury he believed the cider was bought using money taken from Mr Nall’s wallet – possibly after he had died – and George wore Mr Nall’s jacket to the supermarket.
Interviewed by police, Holleran said she did not even remember going to Morrison’s that morning and said the money could have been owed to her by Mr Nall.
The trial before the Recorder of Chester, Judge Elgan Edwards, is expected to last three weeks.