Jury in murder trial of Lincoln pensioner Sonny Grey 'can consider manslaughter verdict'
The jury in the trial of two men accused of murdering pensioner Sonny Grey have been told they can consider a verdict of manslaughter.
Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court were given permission to consider the alternative charge by trial judge, the honourable Mr Justice Saunders.
It comes as the judge began his summing up in the trial of Rocky Curtis and Robert Holmes.
Curtis, 25, of Newbridge Lane, Wisbech, and Holmes, 24, of Redmoor Lane, Wisbech, were both arrested in connection with Mr Grey's death, along with Curtis's older now-deceased brother Tom.
The 70-year-old grandfather from Westwick Gardens died on October 31 at City Hospital, Nottingham.
Two days earlier he was attacked in his home, suffering 46 injuries, and tortured with boiling hot water from a kettle. The pair deny murder.
On Monday, the court was told how police forensic teams were unable to find any DNA from Curtis or Holmes in Mr Grey's house.
Both defendants' defence councils said the house was swabbed from top to bottom for blood, hair and skin samples, footprints and fingerprints.
But after extensive lab analysis, no matches could be found to either the Curtis brothers or Holmes.
Prosecutor Peter Joyce QC told the jury that did not mean they had not been in the house. He said: "DNA is not the answer to everything."
Mr Joyce also alleged the trio had been in a Volkswagen Touareg in the Westwick Gardens area in the hours leading up to the attack on Mr Grey.
He showed the court CCTV footage of three men travelling to and from Lincoln in a Touareg, stopping at both Rhythm and Booze, in Newark, and at a service station on the way back to Wisbech after the time the attack took place.
After extensive questioning, both Holmes and Curtis said they "could not deny" it was the three of them shown in CCTV footage travelling to Lincoln but that they could not remember the specific details of the day in question.
But after being shown CCTV footage of three men running away from Westwick Gardens immediately after Mr Grey was attacked and tortured, both men categorically denied it was them.
Curtis said: "None of those three men were me – 100 per cent. It's impossible to say who those three men are.
"I've never done anything like that in my life. Never have and never will do."
Holmes did admit, however, that the trio made their living stealing cars and scrap metal from up and down the country and that they had been on as many as 500 raids together in the two to three years before they were arrested.
This contradicted a defence statement signed by Holmes after his initial police questioning, in which he said he had only been on the one raid with the Curtis brothers and only did so because he "had nothing better to do".
Mr Joyce alleged that Holmes had changed his story to fit with Curtis's, after planning what they would say during the trial in the ten months they have spent sharing their cell together. Both men denied this allegation.
Curtis said: "The last ten months it's been going through my head. If I wanted to come up and tell you some bull**** story, I could have done, but I've come to tell you what I can remember and I can't remember nothing."
Holmes's partner Stephanie Lawrence, 20, also took to the stand to give evidence. She told the court that she did not know what Holmes did for a living, but described him as a "teddy bear".
When asked why, she said: "He's kind, funny and wouldn't hurt a fly."
The trial continues.