Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Off-Topic: Brian Farmer Murder Trial, Day 9
Today the prosecutor, Mr. Evans, continued with his cross-examination of Jason Andrews. First Mr. Evans put into doubt Jason's statement that when he is in his hostel in Bordesley Green and needs beer he walks to Tesco's in Yardley because it's the closest shop that's open and is only a 10 minutes walk. Mr. Evans pointed out that the distance is 2.6 miles, and to cover that distance in 10 minutes would make Jason a world champion runner. Apart from that it's doubtful that no shops in Bordesley Green sell alcohol. Jason's story was that he didn't return to Brian's flat in Bateman House on the evening of May 4th 2012. He was only at Tesco's, below Bateman House, to buy beer, and it was a pure coincidence that the CCTV cameras showed him walking with Vaughan Davies. He was in Brian's flat on the afternoon of May 5th, but never returned to his flat again. He walked to Tesco's to buy beer in the evening, and it was a pure coincidence that the CCTV cameras showed him walking with Vaughan Davies and Lisa Clarke.
Jason continually claimed in his testimony that Brian Farmer was his good friend, but he did nothing to protect him. On the contrary, he claimed to have left Brian's flat while Vaughan and Lisa were still attacking him. Mr. Evans said that this didn't make him a very good friend.
Mr. Evans presented evidence that Jason had not been picking up his medication regularly since January. This would not have been the case if he had been selling his tablets.
Mr. Evans questioned Jason about the incident on April 20th 2012 in which Brian claimed Jason had hit him over the head with a sugar bowl. Jason denied that this ever happened. He then questioned Jason about his previous convictions for carrying a knife. Jason denied responsibility for all the convictions, saying they were the results of lies or misunderstandings.
Next Mr. Evans talked about the text messages which Lisa sent to Jason in which she accused him of "killing an old man". When asked why he didn't reply to these messages, at least to deny it, he said that he can't remember receiving the messages. Mr. Evans pointed out that these messages had been manually deleted, so he must have seen them.
Mr. Evans spent some time talking about Jason Andrews' police interviews, in which he answered "no comment" to all questions, including questions such as "Did you take part in an assault that led to Brian Farmer's death?" After asking why Jason didn't answer these questions, which were very easy questions for an innocent man to answer, Mr. Evans pointed out the consequences of using the right to remain silent. The police had cautioned him, "You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court". By refusing to answer questions like the one above it has weakened his legal right to claim innocence now.
The cross-examination ended with Mr. Evans claiming that Jason's whole testimony in court is a "pack of lies", deliberately using the expression Jason uses whenever anyone contradicts him. Mr. Evans alleged that Jason had been in Brian's flat from May 4th until at least the evening of May 5th. Together with Vaughan and Lisa he mounted a vicious assault on Brian Farmer on the evening of May 5th 2012, in which he played a major part.
Jason Andrews' own lawyer, Mr. Benson, questioned Jason briefly to clarify the details of his testimony.
After this Lisa Clarke took the stand for the first time. She said that she has known John Campion and Peter Knowles for about 10 years. She considers John to be a very close friend, but he has never been her boyfriend. Prior to May 2012 she had known Jason Andrews for about nine months, and she had known Brian Farmer for five months. When asked about Vaughan Davies, she said that when she first met him she thought he was her son. On May 4th when she introduced Vaughan to Jason as her son it was because she still believed it to be the case. It was not until later in May 2012 that she was told that they weren't related. This is because when they first met Vaughan told Lisa he was her son who had been taken into care shortly after birth, and she believed him.
Lisa told the court that she had seen Jason carrying a knife on several occasions. She had seen him threatening his sister with a knife, and Jason had even threatened Lisa with a knife on one occasion. She said that she had witnessed Jason hitting Brian over the head with a sugar bowl on April 20th 2012. Jason said he had done it because Brian had stolen her knickers and hidden them under his jeans. Lisa found the knickers where Jason said they were, but she believes that Jason had put them there himself in order to justify a fight.
Lisa's chronology of the events of May 4th and 5th was very different to that told by Jason, but at least her story doesn't contradict the CCTV footage. She says that she was with John Campion in the city centre on May 4th when she met her son Vaughan. Together they took a taxi to Bateman House to visit Brian. When they entered the flat Brian and Jason were drinking together in a friendly manner. The evening was peaceful and uneventful. John left after a few hours. Lisa went to bed first.
When Lisa woke up on May 5th Jason was asleep in bed next to her. Brian and Vaughan were already awake in the living room. The room was in a mess, and there was broken glass on the floor. When Lisa asked what had happened Brian replied, "Those two were pratting about". At this time Brian was still uninjured. Lisa needed a drink, and her personal favourite drink, Skol Super, isn't sold at Tesco's, so she caught the bus into the city centre.
While in the city centre Lisa met John, and they came back to Bateman House by bus. When they entered Brian's flat there seemed to be a bad atmosphere. Jason said that Brian had told him that when he was two years old he had changed his nappies and held his penis when he pissed because he couldn't aim straight. Jason was angry and said that Brian needed a haircut. He forced Brian onto a chair and cut off chunks of his hair with the blade of a Stanley knife. Vaughan kicked Brian in the face and broke his nose. Lisa asked John to stop them, but John just stood watching with his arms folded. She kept on begging him, and eventually he said "Fuck this" and left. Jason and Vaughan then left Brian alone, so Lisa fetched a towel to help Brian. While she was helping Brian Jason was drinking cider and Vaughan was smoking weed.
After this Lisa left to go back into the city centre to find John. She couldn't find him, but she met two other friends, Peter Knowles and an Asian man called Daniel Swift. Together they returned to Bateman House by bus. Shortly after they entered Brian's flat the main assault began. Jason was slashing Brian's face with the Stanley knife blade. Daniel boiled a kettle and poured the water over Brian's head. Peter Knowles slapped Brian in the face a few times. Vaughan was acting like a madman, punching and kicking Brian. He was throwing food at him and hitting him over the head with a saucepan. Both Jason and Vaughan poured more boiling water over Brian. Jason tied Brian to a chair and stabbed him repeatedly with a long knife from behind, through the chair. Jason used a hacksaw on the back of Brian's neck in an attempt to saw his head off.
Daniel left first, then Peter, and eventually Lisa left, leaving Jason and Vaughan alone with Brian. Lisa insisted that Jason and Vaughan had been the main assailants, while Daniel and Peter played smaller parts. Lisa herself was the only one who did nothing to harm Brian. She said that she was so disgusted with Jason that she wanted nothing else to do with him.
At the end of her testimony Lisa was cross-examined by Jason Andrews' lawyer, Mr. Benson. He called Lisa a sponger, saying that she used men like Brian Farmer and John Campion to get money for drink. He alleged that Lisa began the attack on Brian because he had refused to give her any money. Mr. Benson quoted a conversation between Lisa and a nurse on May 20th in Sutton Coldfield Police Station. Lisa told the nurse that her son had killed Brian. She did not mention Jason's involvement. Mr. Benson suggested that Lisa only blamed Jason at a later date because Jason dumped her. In Mr. Benson's opinion, Lisa and Vaughan attacked Brian together, while Jason tried unsuccessfully to stop them.