HOMELESS Gary Anthony George has admitted killing a man in his Chester flat.
But George told a Chester Crown Court jury yesterday he denies murdering Andrew MacKenzie Nall, 53.
Addressing the jury on day two of the murder trial, George’s defence barrister George Cole QC said the 41-year-old accepted he committed an act of manslaughter.
Mr Cole said: “The issue we invite the jury to consider is whether or not Mr George was acting under diminished responsibility or acting under a loss of control. We are not disputing he was involved in the unlawful killing of Mr Nall.”
But Ian Unsworth QC, prosecuting, said the Crown would not accept George’s plea to manslaughter.
Co-defendants George, of no fixed abode, and Christine Margaret Holleran, 50, are charged with murdering Mr Nall last August.
Both have entered not guilty pleas and George also denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Brian James Riley.
Yesterday jurors heard evidence from witnesses including probation officer Karen Howell and John Buchanan, education manager at the Harold Tomlins Centre in Chester.
Mr Buchanan said George would visit the day centre to watch films that had been downloaded as entertainment for centre users
Mr Unsworth said horror movies Silent Hill and The Loved Ones were among the films available.
He asked Mr Buchanan: “You have seen Mr George watching these films?”
“That is correct,” he replied.
“Had you seen him watching them on more than one occasion?,” asked Mr Unsworth.
“About six or seven times, yes,” said Mr Buchanan, who said he first met George about seven years ago.
Mr Cole asked Mr Buchanan whether he could be certain George had watched the horror films in question.
The witness said: “I would help set it up but I would not stand and watch the films.
“There was a spectrum of movies, from comedy to thriller. It was like a video shop in a sense.”
Miss Howell was the probation officer for both Mr Nall and George, although she had never met George as he had not attended any appointments.
She began dealing with Mr Nall in May, 2010 and had met with him on numerous occasions. He had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress relating to his time in the Army and had also been psychiatrically assessed.
On August 30 Mr Nall attended Jupiter House to meet Miss Howell, who saw him having what seemed to be an argument with Holleran in the car park.
She told the court Holleran was “in his face”. “She was quite irate and really angry about something,” said Miss Howell.
She said Mr Nall told her he had walked to the centre and Holleran had followed him but the jury was told the pair had taken a taxi together from Chester city centre.
Jurors also heard evidence about a number of incidents at Mr Nall’s flat in Eversley Park, off Liverpool Road, last August.
University of Chester student Eve Knaggs was living in nearby Ash Lawn Court and told police about an argument she had witnessed at about 3pm seven to 10 days before Mr Nall’s body was found.
She described seeing a “scruffy” woman aged in her 40s or 50s screaming at a man before hitting him.
“He was sat on the ground,” said Miss Knaggs. “She ran over and he put his hands over his head, obviously he knew what was coming.”
The trial, before the Recorder of Chester Judge, Elgan Edwards, continues.