Witness’ claim in beach death

Blackpool beach close to where Leslie Bertram's body was found.

Blackpool beach close to where Leslie Bertram's body was found.

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A WITNESS told a jury he heard one of two men accused of a Blackpool murder later say he thought he had killed someone.

Preston Crown Court heard evidence that Colin Dugdale had said “I think I strangled him” while visiting an address on Moore Street, Blackpool, soon after Les Bertram died on the beach at South Shore.

Witness David Phayer, who claims he saw the two defendants attack Mr Bertram on the seafront, was further cross examined yesterday in the trial of Dugdale and Paul Thompson.

Dugdale, 27, of Chesterfield Road, North Shore, and 44-year-old Thompson of Woodfield Road, Blackpool, both deny murdering Mr Bertram in June this year.

The court had already heard claims Dugdale and Thompson killed the 44-year-old after the trio and Mr Phayer had gone out late at night to take a dog for a walk.

Mr Phayer, who was himself initially arrested on suspicion of murder, alleges Dugdale punched Mr Bertram before putting an arm around his neck and getting him to the sand. Thompson is alleged to have stamped on Mr Bertram’s head.

Mr Phayer claims he was later present at the address on Moore Street, South Shore, when he heard Dugdale say he had strangled Mr Bertram.

Quizzed by Mr Simon Medland QC, defending Thompson, he agreed Dugdale had said something like “I think I have killed him” and also “I think I strangled him”.

He accepted Thompson was not there when the alleged comments were made. He said he was not frightened of Thompson.

Mr Phayer refuted a suggestion he may have been mistaken in his saying that he saw Thompson’s foot connecting with Mr Bertram.

He said: “I know what I saw that night.”

He added: “It definitely connected with his head. I saw him stamp on his head.”

(Proceeding)