Stevenage murder trial: Accused ‘told family about killing former girlfriend’, court hears

Amelia Arnold

Amelia Arnold - Credit: Archant

MURDER accused Jack Wall visited his family to tell them he had killed his former girlfriend, a court heard this morning (Tuesday).

Michael Lilly told a jury that Wall visited his mother Elizabeth Wall’s home in Collenswood Road, Stevenage, where he admitted killing his 19-year-old girlfriend.

Wall, 22, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murdering Miss Arnold at their flat in Hadrian’s Walk, Stevenage.

Mr Lilly, who has been in a relationship with Ms Wall for nearly four years, told Blackfriars Crown Court that he was with his partner and two of her teenage sons, Matthew and Ricky, when Wall turned up on the morning of November 9 last year.

“Matthew came into the bedroom saying that Jack had killed Amelia,” said Mr Lilly. “At first, because he’s a bit of a practical joker, I was waiting for him to say ‘no not really’. I was waiting for that and that never came. Matt started crying and I knew then that something serious had happened.

“I heard Elizabeth downstairs saying ‘you’ve done what’? I went downstairs and he was doing this with his hands.”

Mr Lilly then made a strangling gesture to the jurors.

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He went on: “Jack was very agitated and upset. He just started saying ‘I’ve killed her’ – he’d killed Amelia.”

Mr Lilly told the court Jack had turned up with his young daughter Lexi and her buggy, and initially made out Miss Arnold’s leg was in a black bag underneath the buggy, although it actually contained some of her belongings.

“Jack was all over the place,” said Mr Lilly.

“Up until a couple of hours after Jack had told us I still didn’t believe it – I didn’t want to believe it. Elizabeth said she was going to phone Amelia but Jack said don’t be stupid, I’ve got her phone here.”

Jurors heard that Wall told his mother Elizabeth that there had been an argument with Miss Arnold about his name not being on the tenancy agreement.

“Jack said they were rowing and he pushed her and she fell over,” he said.

“She said she was going to phone the police and that’s when he hit her on the head with an iron bar. He didn’t say he’d strangled her.

“I said he should hand himself in and admit what’s he done. I said ‘Jack you can still get manslaughter’ but he said he went downstairs to get another bar to ‘finish her off’ with.”

Asked what Wall had done with Miss Arnold’s body, Mr Lilly told the court Wall had said he’d hid it in a wheelie bin.

Wall’s grandmother Margaret Frater then arrived at the house, jurors heard, which Mr Lilly said was like “a switch had gone off in his (Wall’s) head”.

Mr Lilly said: “He was saying ‘everything is going to be alright, I just need to hide the body’. ‘If there’s no body there’s no murder charge’. I think Jack was pretty much convinced of that. He was going to say that Amelia had gone off and left him with the baby.”

Mr Lilly told the court that Wall’s uncle Joseph Potter was then called about the use of his van.

Potter, 42, who is in custody after admitting assisting an offender and obstructing a coroner, went with Wall to bury Miss Arnold’s body, said Mr Lilly.

“It was like he was running some sort of military operation,” he said.

The court heard that Wall later returned to the house before leaving with Lexi.

It also heard that the following morning he returned to Collenswood Road.

“The door opens and he said ‘good morning, has anyone seen Amelia’, and that was it,” said Mr Lilly.

“I said to Elizabeth ‘get rid of him, I’m going to the police station’.”

Mr Lilly, who described Wall and Miss Arnold’s relationship as “volatile”, subsequently called the police from a telephone box before making a statement.

The trial continues.

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