Guest house murder accused was 'trying to help' victim, court told

A murder probe is under way after a man in his 30s died following an assault at Beaumont Guest House in Norwich Road, Ipswich

The scene at Beaumont Guest House in Norwich Road, Ipswich, today. A murder probe has been launched after a man died following an assault on Friday, July 9 - Credit: Archant

A man accused of murdering a fellow resident at an Ipswich guest house told a witness that he had tried to help the victim.

Gin Slater, whose daughter runs the Beaumont Guest House in Norwich Road, told a jury that she saw Warren Atkinson coming out of a bathroom shortly after the alleged attack on 37-year-old Steven Povey.

“He said he was trying to get Steven up but he couldn’t,” said Mrs Slater.

She said she couldn’t see any blood on 41-year-old Atkinson or in the bathroom.

Atkinson, of Norwich Road, Ipswich, has denied murdering Mr Povey in July last year and an alternative charge of manslaughter. 

It has been alleged that he battered Mr Povey to death after striking him "numerous times" to the head and neck.

Giving evidence on Tuesday (May 31), Patrick Sakar, another resident of the guest house, said he’d been watching a film in his room on the afternoon of the alleged murder when he’d heard a banging noise which was so loud that he’d put earplugs in.

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Pc Harry Cole said he had seen Mr Povey on the afternoon of the alleged murder steadying himself with both hands on a concrete pillar in Norwich Road and he had appeared drunk.

The court has heard there were no witnesses to the incident and there was no history of difficulties between the two men prior to the alleged murder.

Paramedics arrived and tried to assist Mr Povey, but he was pronounced dead at 5.35pm. 

A post-mortem examination revealed he had 62 separate injuries with multiple areas of significant blunt force trauma and was more than four-and-a-half times the drink drive limit.

Atkinson's clothes were also found to have "a wide distribution” of Mr Povey's blood on them.

In a statement after his arrest Atkinson said he’d gone into the kitchenette to make some toast and had seen Mr Povey, who was very drunk and  swaying from side to side, fall forward, and bang his head on the sink and a table.

He said there was “blood everywhere" and that when he tried to get Mr Povey  upright he’d fallen over again and had hit the wall and possibly the table. 

He said that when he realised Mr Povey was motionless he had gone to get help. 

The trial, which is expected to last three to four weeks, continues.