Stevenage murder trial: Victim was ‘too scared’ to call police over domestic violence

Amelia Arnold

Amelia Arnold - Credit: Archant

A TEENAGER sought advice from a council over finding her partner a new home because of domestic violence and arguments, a murder trial heard today (Friday).

Jurors were told about a call from Amelia Arnold discussing former boyfriend Jack Wall, who is accused of murdering the 19-year-old.

During the call, Miss Arnold claimed Wall, 22, had “clumped” her over the head and kicked her on a separate occasion, the court was told.

Wall and Miss Arnold, who shared a home in Hadrian’s Walk, Stevenage, also had verbal arguments, jurors heard.

Giving evidence, Stevenage Borough Council housing advice officer Kelly Bates recalled the conversation with Miss Arnold, which took place on September 26 last year.

“(She was) calling me to ask whether or not we could help to assist Jack in moving out,” said Ms Bates.

“She said that the relationship had broken down and she no longer wanted him living with her but that he wouldn’t leave as he had no where else to go.”

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Ms Bates also told jurors how Miss Arnold had told her she had previously suffered domestic violence.

“When the call was passed through to me, she had reported to them (customer services) she was suffering domestic violence,” said Ms Bates.

She added: “She stated to me that one previous occasion, he had “clumped her round the head and kicked her.”

Ms Bates said she had suggested Miss Arnold talk to her GP.

She also told Miss Arnold, the court heard, that she could seek help from a women’s refuge or the domestic violence unit at Stevenage Police Station.

But Ms Bates went on to tell the court that Miss Arnold had told her she hadn’t reported the domestic violence to police.

“She said she was too scared,” said Ms Bates.

The court heard that after the phone call, Ms Bates made a referral to Children’s Services, due to the couple’s child, 11-month old Lexi, also living in the home.

Ms Bates was contacted by Children’s Services to confirm the referral on October 25 last year, jurors were told.

But, according to Ms Bates, Miss Arnold had said “she didn’t think he would hurt either of them”.

Miss Arnold had also claimed the couple’s arguments were instigated by both of them, jurors were told.

“She did state that she was suffering from depression and had previously taken anti-depressants,” said Ms Bates.

“(She said) she had recently come off them and she thought the depression was constantly impacting on the relationship and she was curious to his whereabouts on numerous occasions.”

Ms Bates added: “She did say on a number of occasions that had been the cause of some arguments.”

Earlier in the day, consultant forensic pathologist Dr Nathaniel Cary told the court Miss Arnold’s death was caused by a severe head injury.

Jurors also heard Miss Arnold had sustained a minimum of eight blunt force impacts to the scalp, and two to the hands.

And they were told she suffered a skull fracture.

Dr Cary said such injuries could have been caused by a dumbbell bar.

“It’s (the injuries) typical of severe force, blunt impact to head,” he said.

“It was sufficient to split the scalp, fracture the bone and damage the underlying brain.”

Dr Cary told jurors that Miss Arnold would have been unconscious for “at least” 30 minutes following.

He went on to say that her body – found in Travellers Lane, Hatfield - had been bound in a foetal position by Playstation games console cables.

He also told jurors that Miss Arnold was fully clothed, and her clothing was bloodstained.

Wall denies Miss Arnold’s murder.

The trial continues.