‘I only hit him with a flat screen TV because he had a Stanley knife’ – Man jointly accused of murdering Stevenage’s Peter Shickle pleads self defence in crown court trial

Peter Shickle

Peter Shickle - Credit: Archant

An alleged murderer – jointly accused of using a flat screen TV to batter Stevenage’s Peter Shickle to death – has told a jury he only hit the victim to protect himself.

John Jamieson, 36, from Stevenage, said he thought Mr Shickle had a Stanley Knife in his hand when he swung the TV at him, hitting him twice.

Mr Shickle, 58, was found lying in a pool of blood by a friend at his flat in Silam Road.

Paramedics were called, but nothing could be done to save the father-of-two, Luton crown court heard on Friday.

Earlier Dr Nat Cary, a consultant forensic pathologist, said there were 75 separate, recent injuries to Mr Shickle’s head, face, neck, body and upper and lower limbs.

Mr Shickle also suffered a traumatic brain injury, 16 fractured ribs, damage to his voice box, a fracture to the nasal bone and jaw, and a split liver.

Mr Jamieson, 36, from Wigram Way, Stevenage and Graham King, also 36, from Harrow Court, Stevenage, deny murdering Mr Shickle on the afternoon of Sunday November 6 last year.

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Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew said the catalyst to the attack was around a week earlier on October 28 when Mr Shickle was out drinking with Mr Jamieson’s mother, Christine.

They allegedly got into a fight and Mr Jamieson vowed to take revenge on Mr Shickle.

Mr Jamieson admitted he was “fuming” after hearing that “Pete” had argued with his mother, and allegedly grabbed her by the throat and hit her head on a wall. He said he wanted to find out what happened, saying there was a lot of gossip.

“All I wanted to do was ask him what happened and why it happened. I wanted to sort it out face to face,” he said.

He told his barrister Mathew Sherratt QC that on the day Mr Shickle died, he got up at his girlfriend’s house in Stevenage at 7am and drank a can of Fosters lager while watching Sky Sports News and Match of the Day.

After she went to work, he went his friend Graham King’s flat where they drank cider before heading towards the Coach and Horses where they were going to watch Arsenal play Tottenham on the big screen, but he said they could not get in because the pub was “jam packed”.

They bought more alcohol from off licences and went to the duck pond, which is near Mr Shickle’s home. He said they walked past his home a couple of times before going in.

He said: “I wanted to ask him what happened. I knocked on the door. Pete answered and said ‘come in’.

“Graham was ahead and the next thing, Pete turned round with a Stanley Knife. I quickly ran up and punched him twice with my left hand and once with my right. There was a scuffle.”

Mr Jamieson told the jury his co-defendant Mr King grappled with Mr Shickle, who ended up on the sofa bed. He said: “I said ‘apologise to my mum’.

“He said ‘Sorry I should apologise’, I said ‘make sure you apologise you p....’.”

He said Mr Shickle then lunged up off the bed and rugby-tackled him: “He caught me on the side and pushed me back against the chimney breast. The TV was in my back. I was punching him.”

As Mr Shickle came at him, he swung the TV from the wall, hitting him on the head. He said he hit him a second time with the TV, before throwing it to the floor.

He told the jury that he just wanted to get out of the flat, but Mr Shickle ‘latched onto his left ankle’.

He said he tried to wriggle free and kneed him to the face, punching him a few times.

“Graham tried to separate us. I was saying: ‘Get him off me. Get him off me. He wouldn’t let go of my legs. “Graham kicked him a few times. He let go of my leg. I stumble away. I just wanted to get out. I thought he would get back up for another fight.”

Asked by Mr Sherratt why he had used the TV, he said: “To keep him as far away from me. In case he still had a knife.”

When he left the flat Mr Jamieson said thought Mr Shickle was OK because he was getting back to his feet.

The case continues.