Search

Murder accused ‘bragged about killing’, court hears

PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:55 16 October 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

Archant

A man accused of murdering 22-year-old Ipswich man Joe Pooley bragged to a friend that he’d killed someone, a court has heard.

Joe Pooley's body was discovered in the River Gipping  Picture: RACHEL EDGEJoe Pooley's body was discovered in the River Gipping Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Sebastian Smith allegedly told the woman that he’d “put a person who couldn’t swim in the river during a fight” and that he’d “murdered someone”, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Christopher Paxton QC, prosecuting, said: “This is a clear confession by Sebastian Smith to murder, nothing more, nothing less.

“This comment by Sebastian Smith that Joe Pooley couldn’t swim suggests does it not that he watched Joe Pooley drown.”

A few days later he called the same woman and allegedly told her “Oh the body in the river it was me” and referred to himself as a wanted man.

He had also spoken to another woman about Mr Pooley and allegedly told her: “I’ve killed him and he’s in that river”.

He also allegedly said he had punched Mr Pooley and knocked him out before rolling him into the river and throwing away his phone

Mr Paxton claimed that Sebastian Smith had also allegedly said he had wanted to get Joe Pooley drunk so he could get the truth out of him about things he believed he had said about his girlfriend Lisa Smith including that the baby she was carrying wasn’t his and that she was a “slag”.

Before the court are Sean Palmer, 30, of South Market Road, Great Yarmouth, Sebastian Smith, 35, of no fixed address, 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.

The court has heard that Mr Pooley had autism and was considered to be “vulnerable, trusting of others and easily taken advantage of”.

You may also want to watch:

Christopher Paxton QC, prosecuting, has alleged that West-Davidson 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, lured Mr Pooley from his address at the Kingsley House Hotel, in London Road, knowing he was going to be attacked, or at the very least “given a serious beating”.

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”.

Mr Paxton said it was agreed by West-Davidson that she and Mr Pooley had sex at her Roper Court flat in Foxhall Road on the night of August 5.

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.

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 prior to his death Mr Pooley received a message from Sebastian Smith saying: “RIP Joe” and one from West-Davidson saying: “I wish you’d just die.”

Mr Paxton said there was no independent eyewitness or CCTV capturing what happened to Joe Pooley on the riverside but the prosecution case was that he was killed between midnight and 02:35am.

The trial continues.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star