Barry Smith murder trial: Accused ‘comforted’ victim’s girlfriend

Court news
Court news

A MAN on trial for murder is alleged to have comforted his victim’s partner only hours after carrying out the brutal killing, a court heard.

Vincent Aitken, 41, his daughter Emma Aitken, 19, and her partner Nathan Doherty, 27, are all accused of murdering Kilburn gypsy Barry Smith following a row at the Kilburn Welfare Social Club.

Leicester Crown Court previously heard the trio are accused of beating Mr Smith to death with pool cues and a fence post before dragging his body to a pile of rubbish, where it was set alight.

Aitken’s wife, Pamela Aitken, 41, denies assisting an offender in relation to Mr Smith’s death.

Stuart Wainwright, the chairman of the social club, said the morning after the killing Mr Aitken comforted Mr Smith’s partner, Rowena Pearson, after she tried to break through a police cordon.

In Mr Wainwright’s police statement, which was read out to the court, Mr Aitken allegedly said: “I think it’s Barry.

“I’m not sure. If it is, I’m sorry.”

The embrace came after Mr Aitken had been stood with Mr Wainwright for “five or ten minutes” before Miss Pearson arrived, the court heard.

Mr Wainwright continued: “He (Mr Aitken) looked very pale, white.

“I asked him what had gone off and he told me they had found a body, a man’s body.”

Mr Wainwright added: “He said he had been up to about 3, 3.30am.”

Also giving evidence yesterday (Thurs) was Lee Keeling who had been drinking with Mr Smith in the social club until about 1.30am on October 6.

At around 8am that morning, dog walkers discovered the charred remains of Mr Smith, 48, of Mayfield Avenue, Kilburn, outside Kilburn Welfare Social Club.

Mr Keeling told the court: “It didn’t seem it was going to amount to any trouble. I wouldn’t have left the place if I thought he (Smith) was in any danger.”

Mr and Mrs Aitken, of Chapel Street, Kilburn and Emma Aitken and Mr Doherty, both of Portland Street, Derby deny the charges.

The trial continues.