Father acquitted in Arlesey's Blue Lagoon murder trial

ONE of the defendants in a murder trial has been acquitted of a charge of familial homicide on the judge s direction. The body of Michael Gilbert, 26, was found in the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey last May. It is alleged he was murdered at a house in Luton in J

ONE of the defendants in a murder trial has been acquitted of a charge of familial homicide on the judge's direction.

The body of Michael Gilbert, 26, was found in the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey last May.

It is alleged he was murdered at a house in Luton in January last year.

Antonio Watt, 70, was formally acquitted at Luton Crown Court.


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Judge John Bevan QC told the jury that, having heard the evidence, he had reached the conclusion that the prosecution could no longer ask them to bring a guilty verdict.

He said there was no evidence putting Mr Watt and Mr Gilbert together during January last year at the Watt family home in Luton, where it is alleged the murder took place.

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DS Mark Devine told the jury this week how the missing head of Mr Gilbert was discovered by police divers in a bag in the lagoon.

On trial are James Watt, 27, and his brother Robert Watt, 20, who both plead not guilty to murder.

Also pleading not guilty to murder is James Watt's girlfriend Natasha Oldfield, 29, and Nichola Roberts, 21, the girlfriend of another brother, Richard Watt.

Richard Watt is pleading guilty to familial homicide and perverting the course of justice.

Robert Watt, Miss Oldfield and Miss Roberts deny familial homicide and Robert Watt and Miss Oldfield deny perverting the course of justice.

The brothers' parents, Antonio Watt and Jennifer Smith-Dennis, 58, are alongside them in the dock. She is pleading not guilty to familial homicide and perverting the course of justice and he is pleading not guilty to perverting the course of justice.

The jury has been told how Mr Gilbert, a "vulnerable" man, was held prisoner by the Watt family for years and treated like a slave.

Case proceeding.

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