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Mother of accused called police after alleged admission from son

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

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The mother of a man accused of murdering Ipswich 22-year-old Joe Pooley called the police on her son after he allegedly admitted his involvement, a court 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

The mother of Sean Palmer told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court how she dialled 999 shortly after her son confessed to her that he had held Mr Pooley’s head under the water at the River Gipping.

Mr Pooley was found dead in the Ipswich river on August 13, 2018.

Before the court are 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. They also deny manslaughter.

MORE: River death accused allegedly told friend he ‘might have murdered someone’

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court via video link, Palmer’s mother told the jury that Sebastian Smith, also known as Luke Greenland, and her son were in the living room of her home when Mr Pooley’s death was discussed.

She said: “Luke made a sarcastic comment that they had put him in the river and Sean had helped him. It was like he was being braggy about it.”

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Palmer’s mother told the court she initially thought the pair were joking but on September 28, 2018, she called the police after the alleged admission from her son.

“He was crying and said he had helped Luke by holding the head under,” she said.

Palmer’s mother said she then swore at her son and told him he wasn’t capable of something like that because he was “a gentle giant”.

She told the jury he then repeated what he said before she proceeded to call the police in front of her son, who became “very distressed” with her.

She said Palmer then left to buy a bottle of vodka from the local shop and when he returned he had finished three quarters of the bottle.

MORE: Murder accused told friend he put victim ‘in the river’

The jury then heard two 999 calls made by Palmer’s mother on September 28, 2018, in which she explained to officers that she believed her son had “something to do” with Mr Pooley’s death.

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

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

The trial continues.


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