Landlady describes finding scene of alleged murder at Ipswich guest house

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

The landlady of an Ipswich guest house has described a man accused of murdering a fellow resident as looking “blank” when she saw him immediately after the alleged killing, a court has heard.

Charlotte Slater, who runs the Beaumont Guest House in Norwich Road, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that she had gone upstairs to a kitchenette on the top floor after hearing some loud bangs while she was cleaning.

As she got to the top of the narrow staircase she saw 41-year-old Warren Atkinson with blood on his hands and on his face.

He was wearing dark clothing so she couldn’t see if there was any blood on his clothes but she noticed that his cuff left a bloodstain on the wall when he touched it.

She described Atkinson as looking “blank” and heard him say something about someone in the kitchenette before he went down the stairs.

When she went into the room she saw 37-year-old Steven Povey lying on the floor on his back with a coffee table on top of him.

She described the table as being “quite heavy” and said it was standing the right way up with the legs on Mr Povey’s chest and legs.

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Miss Slater said Mr Povey was struggling to breathe and making a gurgling noise.

She said his head was swollen and “purplish” in colour and he was unresponsive when she called his name.

Miss Slater said she had immediately called 999.

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.

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 had 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 was 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. 

Following his arrest, Atkinson gave a prepared statement to police officers, 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. 

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