Search

Mum tells murder trial of ‘awful feeling’ when body found in river

PUBLISHED: 19:59 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:46 28 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

The mother of a 22-year-old Ipswich man whose body was found in the River Gipping said she had an “awful feeling” that it was her son when she heard a body had been discovered.

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

Sam Nicholls told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that on hearing about the body in the river she had contacted the police to say she thought it was her son Joe Pooley.

She told officers she’d been told he had last been seen drinking in Yeoman Close, Ipswich, which was close to the location where the body was found.

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, 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 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