Washington man Christopher Graham will not give evidence in his defence for murder of Jarrow grandad Simon Bowman

A man accused of the "mutilation" murder of a grandfather who was found dead in his flat will not give evidence in his own defence, jurors have been told.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 3:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 3:18 pm
Simon Bowman

Christopher Graham is accused of killing Simon Bowman, whose finger and toe tips were found "scattered" near his body in his bloodsoaked living room in High Street, Jarrow, in May.

The 30-year-old, of Washington, denies murder and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Jurors have heard Mr Bowman, 54, suffered a gruesome catalogue of 100 sites of injury, including 30 to his head and neck, inflicted both before and after he died and caused by more than one weapon.

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Police and forensic officers at suspected murder on High Street, Jarrow

The prosecution has now ended its part of the case and no more witnesses will be called on its behalf.

But jurors have heard Graham will not be going into the witness box.

Judge Paul Sloan QC asked Graham's barrister Paul Greaney QC: "The prosecution has closed its case. Have you advised your client that the stage has now been reached at which he may give evidence and if he chooses not to do so, or having been sworn, without good cause, refuses to answer any questions, the jury may draw such inference as appear proper from his failure to do so?"

Mr Greaney replied: "I can confirm I have given the defendant Mr Graham that advice and his decision is he will not give evidence in his own defence."

Mr Greaney said some other form of defence evidence may be heard tomorrow.

Judge Sloan said the case will continue tomorrow and he told jurors: "You have heard the defendant himself has chosen not to give evidence in these proceedings. I will, in due course, direct you as to the effect of that.

"However, the defence wishes to rely upon certain evidence which can't be called until tomorrow morning."

Jurors have heard Graham had moved into Mr Bowman's flat and was living there of the time of the attack.

The court has heard Graham admits he was solely responsible for Mr Bowman's injuries but has maintained his actions were lawful.

Prosecutor Richard Wright told jurors at the start of the case: "Even if, which we do not accept, there had been any need to use self-defence against Simon Bowman, you can be sure that the violence that Christopher Graham in fact deployed went far beyond anything that could ever be described as the use of reasonable and therefore lawful force."