Love rival in death denial

The area where Mr Bartram's body was found.
The area where Mr Bartram's body was found.
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A MAN accused of murdering a love rival injected crack cocaine and made 14 phone calls to his victim’s partner before beating him up on the beach, a court heard.

But defendant Colin Dugdale claims the injuries he inflicted did not cause Leslie Bertram’s death.

Yesterday at Preston Crown Court Dugdale, 27, of Lytham Road, South Shore, admitted hitting Mr Bartram but claimed he was only doing so in retaliation.

Jurors heard how Dugdale, co-defendant Paul Thompson, Mr Bertram and another man – David Phayer – had walked to the beach (pictured) opposite Woodfield Road just after midnight on June 16.

There Dugdale claims Mr Bertram aimed a punch at him after Thompson had teased him about Dugdale’s affections for his partner. Dugdale said: “Mr Thompson was winding him up and Mr Bertram swung for me.

“He was winding him up about me fancying (Bertram’s partner).

“He didn’t react like I’d expect him to react.

“He reacted by swinging a punch towards me, I jumped back so the punch missed me.

“I jumped towards him, I got him in a headlock and got him to the ground.

“I sat astride him and I started giving him small blows to the right and the left of his head.”

Mr Dugdale claims he only made seven of the 14 calls from his phone to Mr Bertram’s partner.