Accused’s ex-girlfriend in witness box in murder trial

PUBLISHED: 07:30 14 November 2020

Joe Pooley, from Ipswich, was found dead in the River Gipping in 2018  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Joe Pooley, from Ipswich, was found dead in the River Gipping in 2018 Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY


A woman has denied that a man accused of murdering 22-year-old Joe Pooley, whose body was found in the River Gipping in Ipswich, told her he had run off and left him on the ground after punching him.

Giving evidence during the trial of two men and two women accused of murdering Mr Pooley, Rebecca Crosfield said Sebastian Smith told her that he and his co-defendant Sean Palmer had “put Mr Pooley in the river”.

She denied a suggestion from Allison Summers QC, for Sebastian Smith, that he told her that after punching Mr Pooley and knocking him to the ground he and Palmer had run off and left him.

Miss Crossfeld, also denied that the idea that Sebastian Smith had put Mr Pooley in the river came from other people who didn’t like him and were pointing the finger at him.

“No, he told me himself,” said Miss Crosfield.

Cross-examined by Simon Spence QC, for Sean Palmer, she denied a suggestion that Palmer, who is her former boyfriend, had never said anything to her about his involvement in Mr Pooley’s death.

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She also denied she had taken what she had been told by Sebastian Smith about what happened to Mr Pooley on the night of his death and had “somehow persuaded herself” that Palmer had said the same thing.

Before Ipswich Crown Court is Sebastian 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.

They have all denied murdering Mr Pooley on or before August 7, 2018.

Christopher Paxton QC, prosecuting, 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 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 Rebecca Crosfield, that Sebastian Smith had punched Mr Pooley and he had helped put him in the river.

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

The trial continues.

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