Three on trial for drug addict's murder

Police outside Mr Fretwell's flat in Laughton en le Morthen last year.Police outside Mr Fretwell's flat in Laughton en le Morthen last year.
Police outside Mr Fretwell's flat in Laughton en le Morthen last year.
TWO brothers and their cousin have gone on trial accused of climbing into a drug addict’s flat and beating him to death.

Nathan Fensome (28) and Ashley Fensome (21), both of Croft Mews, Barleycroft Lane, Dinnington, and Barry Plant (36), of Sandymount Road, Wath, all deny murdering Steven Fretwell.

Heroin and crack cocaine user, Mr Fretwell (47) was found dead in his flat by police around 4pm on Sunday, December 18, last year.

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The night before he had been seen leaving his flat on CCTV at 8.30pm in his mobility scooter, which he used due to the damage his drug use had caused his legs.

He visited a friend to buy tobacco and she noticed he had a large amount of money in his wallet, thought to be around £300.

Mr Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said the following day a neighbour raised concerns they had not seen Mr Fretwell and had heard “sounds of a violent disturbance” coming from his flat on Kingswood Avenue, Laughton en le Morthen, in the early hours of the morning.

When police went to the scene, the door was locked from the inside but a window was unlocked and bloodstained.

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A police officer climbed through the window and found Mr Fretwell, who was known as Chud, dead on the floor of his bedroom.

A post-mortem concluded he died from multiple injuries.

He had been severely beaten and suffered numerous lacerations, bruises, a fractured right arm, face and ribs and had been punched, kicked and possibly stamped upon.

“His right leg was lacerated and fractured, just below the knee, with indications of something having been used to chop into the bone,” said Mr Reeds.

“A roofer’s hammer, found near to the body, was the type of weapon that could have caused these leg injuries.

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“His right wrist was tied with string, as if he had been bound with string at some stage.”

Mr Fretwell’s wallet was not found in his flat and the prosecution said this could point to one possible motive for his murder being robbery.

The court heard He was known to have multiple drug dealers and on occasions he would be given “credit” by them to pay for his drugs at a later date — known as “laying on”.

Plant told police he had been at Mr Fretwell’s home between 11pm and midnight on December 17 to do a drug deal and had then gone to his cousins’ nearby flat to stay overnight.

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The prosecution claim the three men then went to Mr Fretwell’s flat in the early hours of December 18, climbed through his window and attacked him.

Mr Fretwell’s nephew, Liam Fretwell, was seen on CCTV arriving at his uncle’s flat at 1.44am because the victim had arranged to buy a car off him.

Liam told police three balaclava-wearing men had arrived at the flat at the same time and he asked: “Who are you?” but no-one had replied and he had run off because he was scared.

Mr Reeds said Liam had seen the three men climbing through his uncle’s window and when he returned at 1.56am he had looked in the window and heard Mr Fretwell moaning.

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“He could see blood on his face but assumed his uncle would be alright so did nothing to assist,” said Mr Reeds.

A search of the Fensome brothers’ flat found Mr Fretwell’s blood on the sofa arm and washing machine, the court heard.

A blood-stained footprint found in Mr Fretwell’s flat also matched a pair of trainers the prosecution said Nathan Fensome owned, was jury was told.

The trial continues.


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