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Home Folkestone News Article
A Folkestone man accused of the jealous murder of a love rival has admitted he went looking for his victim.
Carpenter Brian Sharp – who denies murder – said he hit Tim Clayton five times and "kicked him in the bum" as he lay sleeping outside Europa House, in Sandgate Road, last November.
But the father-of-three, 55, denied the assault was because of jealousy.
The prosecution has claimed Sharp, of Manor Road, Folkestone, battered Mr Clayton to death because of his friendship with Sharp's lover Samantha Allen.
He told Canterbury Crown Court he had gone looking for Mr Clayton because he suspected him of stealing his record collection.
Sharp – who had been to a music event at a local pub the night before – left his sleeping lover at 3am to take his son's dog Tyson for a walk.
"I thought I'd see Tim at the same time. I'd been sitting there, thinking: 'Hmm my records."
Sharp said he first looked at the back of Iceland, where he believed Mr Clayton was sleeping rough.
He found him asleep near two other men behind Europa House in a sleeping bag and then used a dog lead to drag him out.
"I asked him if he had got my records. He said no. I hit him to make him tell me what he had done with my records. I struck him about five times. I didn't kick him in the head. I kicked him in the bum."
His barrister Oliver Saxby QC asked: "When you hit him did you think that you had caused him really serious harm?" Sharp replied: "No."
He said that when he left, Mr Clayton was promising to return the record by the following Monday.
"I told him if he didn't, then I would come looking for him. I am guilty of assaulting him, but I didn't intend causing him really serious harm."
Sharp, who was born in Ashford, said he had also worked for P&O Ferries and British Rail before returning to his father's trade of carpentry.
He said his marriage to Michelle ended in 1997 and he later had a 13-year relationship with Wilma, a women he met and later the couple moved to Edinburgh.
That affair ended in 2010 and he moved back to Folkestone. In August last year, he met Samantha Allen in a doctor's surgery.
The couple went for a drink and later in the month moved in together in Castle Hill Avenue.
Sharp told the jury it was only then he realised Ms Allen had a lodger, Mr Clayton.
"I took that at face value," he said. "When I moved in he would stay for a bit. Then he'd leave, then he'd come back.
"We got on OK. Then I found that my razor got smashed when I went to cut my hair. It had been kept in my drawer. I asked Samantha. She says she don't know nothing about it.
"And as Tim had been there and he was the only one likely to go through the bedroom drawers, then it must have been him.
"I saw him afterwards and asked him, but he says he doesn't know nothing about it."
Sharp then told the jury his passport and other documents then disappeared from his jacket and in October his record collection – "which I have had for 40 years" – also disappeared from Ms Allen's home.
He said he began moving his clothes out after with her over an argument over a bath.
"She didn't get out of the bath until 10pm, then she said: 'Oh, I am going to go and look for Tim'.
"And I said if you look for Tim, don't expect me to be here when you come back... and I didn't have a bath there. I went back to my place and had a shower."
Police were later called to an incident when Sharp was accused of hitting Ms Allen.
But he told the jury: "I wasn't jealous of her with other men and I didn't hit her."
The trial continues.
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