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Judge to sum up in Ipswich murder trial

PUBLISHED: 14:09 25 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 March 2010

A JUDGE was to sum up proceedings today into the trail involving two men accused of the murder of Ipswich barmaid Janet Fleming.

The Honourable Mr Justice Moses was to speak to the jury at Norwich Crown Court with a verdict expected tomorrow on Damien Duberry and Leon Sobers.

A JUDGE was to sum up proceedings today into the trail involving two men accused of the murder of Ipswich barmaid Janet Fleming.

The Honourable Mr Justice Moses was to speak to the jury at Norwich Crown Court with a verdict expected tomorrow on Damien Duberry and Leon Sobers.

Earlier today the jury was told that there was no scientific evidence linking one of the co-accused to Ms Fleming's death.

David Cocks, QC, said in his closing speech, that despite prolonged scientific tests nothing had been found to link his client Duberry to the attack on Ms Fleming on December 10.

The 21-year-old defendant, of Morland Road, Ipswich, and Sobers, 23, of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, both deny the murder of the former Harleys barmaid.

The defendants also deny committing robbery at the Stoke Park pub on December 10.

Ms Fleming died following an attack outside the pub on that date.

Mr Cocks said: "There is no scientific evidence against Damien Duberry."

He continued "You know what they did (the prosecution) and the steps they took to try and pin something on Damien Duberry that would be considered scientific proof that he was there and had taken part.

"The amount of scientific evidence as far as the prosecution is concerned is zero. There is nothing to help you as far as Mr Duberry is concerned."

Mr Cocks referred to a secretly taped conversation between Duberry and prosecution witness Peter Robinson in which Duberry said he had a fake alibi for December 10.

Mr Cocks said: "The first reaction of somebody from the Ipswich underworld when you may have done something wrong is to get an alibi – whether you have done something wrong or not."

He went on to criticise key prosecution witnesses, including Lavita Smith and Carla Evans, by saying they were from a background of drugs and crime and could not be relied upon.

Mr Cocks said people from the Ipswich criminal underworld had volunteered to help police following stories about a £10,000 reward for information published in The Evening Star.

Peter Robinson, a friend of Duberry's who helped police, tried to get Duberry to implicate himself.

Mr Cocks said: "He tried to get him (Duberry) to implicate himself, motivated by what? A thirst for justice or for money?"

He added that comments made by his client to Robinson should not be considered as confessions.

He also defended both Duberry and Sobers' decision not to give evidence at the trial.

He said: "Bear it in mind that they are all involved in drugs and that sort of madness. Bear that in mind when you consider why they didn't go in the witness box."

He added that the evidence against them was not strong enough to compel them to take the stand.

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