'Maybe she lied' says defendant in Joe Pooley murder trial

Photo of Joe Pooley in dark tee shirt

Joe Pooley, from Ipswich, who was found in the River Gipping - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A man accused of murdering 22-year-old Joe Pooley whose body was found in the River Gipping has denied telling a friend that he and one of his co-defendants had “put Joe in the river.”

Giving evidence during his trial at Ipswich Crown Court Sebastian Smith said that Rebecca Crosfield had been interviewed by police several months after Mr Pooley’s death at a time when a lot of people had been talking about Mr Pooley’s death.

“Maybe she lied or made an honest mistake", said Smith.

Cross-examined by prosecution counsel Christopher Paxton QC, Smith admitted that he and his co-defendants each had grievances against Mr Pooley at the time of his death in August 2018.

However, he denied that he and his co-defendants had “ganged up” on Mr Pooley and planned to cause him serious harm.

Smith, 35, of no fixed address, Sean Palmer, 30, of South Market Road, Great Yarmouth, Becki West-Davidson, 30, of Rope Walk, Ipswich, and Lisa-Marie Smith, 26, of Hawick, Roxburghshire have all denied murdering Mr Pooley on or before August 7 2018

Palmer, West-Davidson and Lisa-Marie Smith have all chosen not to give evidence during the trial.

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Mr Paxton has alleged that West-Davidson, who had a sexual relationship with Mr Pooley, had been angry with Mr Pooley over comments he was said to have made about her and Lisa-Marie Smith and had “stoked up hostility towards him”.

He claimed that Sebastian Smith and Palmer had attacked Mr Pooley and thrown his body in the River Gipping after Sebastian Smith’s then girlfriend, Lisa-Marie Smith, allegedly lured Mr Pooley from his address at the Kingsley House Hotel knowing he was going to be attacked.

He claimed that following the discovery of Mr Pooley’s body, Palmer told his then girlfriend that Sebastian Smith had punched Mr Pooley and he had helped put him in the river.

Mr Paxton claimed West-Davidson “tried to cover up” the alleged murder by deleting a number of Facebook messages, including one in which Mr Pooley asked her to “call off the hit” and another telling Mr Pooley “you’re f****d, mate”.

He said that although West-Davidson had expressed love for Mr Pooley she had fallen into a rage after learning about comments he’d allegedly made about her children.

Sebastian Smith had allegedly been angry about things Mr Pooley was supposed to have said about him and his girlfriend Lisa-Marie Smith and sent him a text saying: “I’m going everywhere until I find you.”

Mr Paxton alleged that the defendants had “bullied, threatened and ganged up on” Mr Pooley.

The trial, which is expected to last into the new year, continues.

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