Court hears traveller stabbed love rival

A TRAVELLER stabbed a man to death in Bury St Edmunds town centre because he was a love rival, Ipswich Crown Court heard today.Tony Holland is accused of murdering William O'Connor behind a parade of shops in Home Farm Lane.

Helen Skene

A TRAVELLER stabbed a man to death in Bury St Edmunds town centre because he was a love rival, Ipswich Crown Court heard today.

Tony Holland is accused of murdering William O'Connor behind a parade of shops in Home Farm Lane.

Mr O'Connor, 20, was believed to have met up with Holland on April 27 last year over a cocaine deal.

Karim Khalil, prosecuting, said: “We say he (Mr O'Connor) met with this defendant that day. There seems to be some purchase of drugs, cocaine, and that was the cause of the meeting between these two men.

“The defendant was interviewed; there were lengthy interviews with police. No account was given by him at all. He exercised his right to be silent.

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“We say his motivation was revealed in later conversations. Tony Holland's fiancée was Lisa Smith, she was someone William O'Connor had shown a fancy towards and it appears in his misguided sense of clearing his past he decided to clear out one of her potential other suitors.”

Holland, of Broadlands, Desborough, denied murdering Mr O'Connor. He also pleaded not guilty to murdering fellow traveller Danny Hathaway.

The father of two's body was never found the court heard but the 44-year-old went missing after a meeting with 22-year-old Holland on February 2 last year.

Mr Khalil said Mr Hathaway's blood was discovered in Holland's white transit van days later. His blood was also found on Holland's boots and on a spade.

Mr Khalil said mobile calls traced Holland from Kings Lynn to a travellers site in Corby where Mr Hathaway lived in a double-decker bus with his partner Diane Fury and their two children.

He said the family had been preparing for a skiing holiday in Austria and he had been tying up loose ends when he arranged to meet Holland about a plot of land which was for sale for cash.

The court heard that Holland needed money to buy a caravan for £9,000 and he knew Mr Hathaway, a van sales and repair man, had money.

The trial continues.

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