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Murder accused Christopher Bones denies beating to death Gary Pocock after assault which left him half-naked on Leysdown beach

A university student said to have been "covered in blood" after helping to beat a man to death on a Sheppey beach has denied involvement in the "murderous attack".

Christopher Bones, 21, told Maidstone Crown Court he did not take "any part" in the killing of 34-year-old Gary Pocock on August 7 last year.

The caretaker's half-naked body was found on the sand off Warden Bay Road in Leysdown.

Gary Pocock was found dead on the beach
Gary Pocock was found dead on the beach

He was said to have been savagely beaten with one, possibly two, baseball bats, as well as kicked and punched.

His trousers were also pulled down during the attack, allegedly meted out as punishment after a girl claimed he had molested her, before he was dumped in the sea.

A 16-year-old boy from Sheerness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is one of five defendants on trial for Mr Pocock's murder.

He claims that while he witnessed the fatal attack, he did not take part, and alleges that Bones, his friend Matthew Terry and his father Mark Terry were responsible.

The boy, who also maintains that the fifth defendant, 19-year-old Jamie West, of Cliff View Gardens, Warden, had nothing to do with the killing, told of an "explosion of blood" when Mr Pocock was struck.

But Bones, of Dorothy Gardens, Dagenham in Essex, told the jury the last he saw of Mr Pocock was his "silhouette" walking away from him along the beach at night.

He said Mark Terry then told him that Mr Pocock had gone to "chase tail" in reference to a woman they had met earlier in the evening in the Talk of the Town bar.

Police at a beach in Warden after Gary Pocock's body was found
Police at a beach in Warden after Gary Pocock's body was found

Asked by his barrister Ian Glen QC whether he saw anything "untoward, of a criminal nature or violence" on the beach, Bones replied: "No."

Mr Glen then said: "There has been evidence that you were covered in blood. Is there any truth in that?"

"No," said Bones, to which Mr Glen added: "On your hands, arms, clothing?"

Again, the biological science student maintained his innocence, to be asked: "Had you just been involved in a murderous attack?"

"No," was the reply.

Bones, Mark Terry, 44, of Grantham Road, Manor Park, Matthew Terry, 21, also of Grantham Road, West and the teenage boy all deny murder and perverting the course of justice by giving false statements to the police.

Bones, who turned 21 during the trial, said that after Mr Pocock left the group, he, Mark Terry and the boy headed to another pub called The Cavern.

But when they saw it was closed they returned to Mark Terry's holiday chalet.

The jury has seen CCTV footage which showed Matthew Terry driving his Ford Focus past the group.

Earlier in the trial, he told the jury he had been smoking a cannabis joint on a cliff-top car park before arriving back at the chalet ahead of his father, Bones and the boy.

He also denied being involved in the beach attack on Mr Pocock.

Gary Pocock was found on a private beach in Leysdown. Picture: Google Earth
Gary Pocock was found on a private beach in Leysdown. Picture: Google Earth

Bones told the court he did not shower that night nor wash his clothes, as alleged.

He left the holiday site with Matthew Terry the next morning and, after Mr Pocock's body had been found and identified, was twice interviewed by police as a witness.

At one stage he was told the clothes he had been wearing that night would be needed, and the court heard they were "out ready" for officers when he was finally arrested several days later.

He maintained during his evidence that there had not been any blood on his clothing,

he had not washed them nor been advised to do so, and had no reason to do so.

He also denied being a violent person or getting involved in fights.

"Did you take any part in the killing of Gary Pocock?" asked Mr Glen, to which Bones replied: "No."

"Would you enter into any such violence," added the QC. "No," maintained Bones.

The trial continues.

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