Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Off-Topic: Brian Farmer Murder Trial, Day 14
Today the closing speeches began. Mr. Evans began by summarising the differences between the four defendants. Vaughan Davies is a habitual liar. Lisa Clarke was the instigator of the attack. Jason Andrews has a long history of violence. Peter Knowles has said nothing, and his silence condemns him.
The first three have told different versions of the events, but Lisa's story best fits the indisputable evidence of the CCTV cameras. The only problem with her story is that she has airbrushed herself out by claiming she was an innocent bystander when the attack took place. In Mr. Evans' opinion all the violence took place on the evening of May 5th 2012, after Brian returned from his shopping trip with Vaughan Davies. Vaughan didn't accompany Brian to assist him, because the cameras show that Brian carried the four bottles of cider by himself without any help from Vaughan. Vaughan went to Tesco's to make sure Brian didn't make a run for it, because the final assault had already been planned. When he returned to his room the attacks took place and Brian was left to die. According to the pathology reports it could have taken up to 18 hours for him to die; it was certainly a slow, painful death.
The text messages between Lisa and Jason on May 16th show that they already knew Brian was dead. Jason was worried about a life sentence, but made no attempt to deny his guilt when Lisa accused him of being the murderer.
There have been different stories about who did what, but Mr. Evans sees this as less relevant. They all encouraged one another to continue. There is no proof that any of them made any effort to defend Brian or call an ambulance for him. Merely standing watching the assault is proof of encouragement.
Second, Mr. Benson spoke in defence of Jason Andrews. He began by saying that Brian is dead and we know that someone has killed him, but it's important for the jury to decide who was the person who actually carried out the death blow. He called the jury to ignore all of Vaughan Davies' testimony, since he admitted himself that he can't stop himself lying. In Mr. Benson's opinion the attack was carried out by Lisa and Vaughan; Jason left early on because he couldn't stand to watch. Later on Lisa and Vaughan decided to blame Jason because they knew he had previous convictions for knife-related crimes. In Mr. Benson's opinion there is not one shred of evidence that Jason performed the slightest amount of violence.
Third, Miss Montgomery spoke in defence of Lisa Clarke. She made an attempt to describe the subculture in which alcoholics live. They don't live by the same moral code as the "normal people" in the jury. For them fellow drinkers are family. They go from one place to another sharing alcohol with different groups of people. Sometimes there are arguments, sometimes they fight, but they accept fights and even injuries as part of their lifestyle. A drinker would not report someone to the police who has hit him, and he would definitely not report someone he sees hitting someone else. The next day they'll meet again with full bottles of alcohol and everyone will be happy. Lisa can't be blamed for not doing anything to stop Jason and Vaughan attacking Brian, for her it was just another drunken brawl. It wasn't until a few days later, when she realised Brian was dead, that she was angry with Jason and broke off their relationship. But even this didn't last, she forgave Jason and they got back together.
Miss Montgomery denies that Lisa was an instigator. All she wanted was a drink, and this was spoilt when Jason and Vaughan attacked Brian. After this her speech had to be interrupted until tomorrow.