Man was allegedly battered to death in Ipswich guest house, jury hears

The victim, a man aged his 30s, was treated at the scene but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Warren Atkinson is accused of murdering Steven Povey at Beaumont Guest House in Ipswich - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

An Ipswich man allegedly battered a fellow guest house resident to death after striking him "numerous times" to the head and neck, a jury heard. 

Warren Atkinson, 41, is alleged to have carried out the attack on Steven Povey in a small communal kitchenette at the Beaumont Guest House, on Norwich Road, Ipswich, where they were both living on July 9, 2021. 

Mr Povey, 37, was found lying on the floor in the kitchenette, located on the top floor of the guest house, with a wooden coffee table standing on top of him, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

There were no witnesses to the incident itself, and there was no history of difficulties between the two men prior to the alleged murder, Simon Spence QC told the jury as he opened the prosecution case. 

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

Beaumont Guest House on Norwich Road in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The court heard how the woman who runs Beaumont Guest House was doing some chores on the first floor with earphones in when she heard banging. 

She took her earphones out and believed the banging was coming from the floor above so went to investigate, Mr Spence said. 

As the landlady went up the narrow flight of stairs, she saw Atkinson coming out of the kitchenette and noticed he had blood on him. 

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Atkinson made a comment about Mr Povey, which she did not hear clearly, and the landlady then found Mr Povey unconscious after going into the kitchenette. 

Mr Spence said one set of legs of the "substantially-sized" table was on Mr Povey's chest, while the other set was on his legs.

Mr Povey's face was battered, purple and swollen, and the woman immediately called for an ambulance, the jury heard.

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

A post-mortem examination revealed there were multiple areas of significant blunt force trauma to the head and neck, and 62 separate injuries in total. 

Toxicology tests also discovered Mr Povey's blood alcohol concentration to be 381microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - which is more than four-and-a-half times the limit for driving in the UK.

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

Emergency vehicles at the scene in Norwich Road, Ipswich, on Friday, July 9.

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

Following his arrest, Atkinson gave a prepared statement to police officers in interview, stating he had gone into the kitchenette to make some toast. 

He said he believed Mr Povey was very drunk as he was swaying from side to side, and claimed he saw him fall forward, banging his head on the sink and table in the corner, and "there was blood everywhere". 

Atkinson said he went over to help Mr Povey but after getting him upright, he fell over again, hitting the wall and possibly the table. 

This resulted in Atkinson getting covered in blood, he told officers, and when he realised Mr Povey was motionless, he left the kitchenette to get help. 

Mr Spence told the jury: "As you will hear during the evidence, that account is flatly contradicted by both the pathologist who examined Mr Povey’s injuries and a forensic scientist, who examined the blood staining at the scene.

"Both of them separately and independently concluded that their findings were consistent with a forceful and sustained attack and inconsistent with self-inflicted accidental injuries."

Atkinson, of Norwich Road, Ipswich, has denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter. 

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