Teen tells court Gary Pocock's lifeless, half-naked body dumped in sea off Leysdown beach in Sheerness
A teenager accused of helping to beat a man to death with baseball bats before his lifeless, half-naked body was put in the sea told police of “an explosion of blood”, a court heard.
The 16-year-old from Sheerness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, described how one of Gary Pocock’s attackers had “come out of the darkness” to hit him hard around the head.
The 34-year-old was then repeatedly punched and kicked to his genitals before his body was put into the sea.
Gary Pocock, found dead on a beach at Leysdown
It is alleged that the youth, 44-year-old Mark Terry, his son Matthew, 21, and family friend Christopher Bones, 20, were responsible for the “savage” attack on Mr Pocock in August last year.
Mark Terry was said to have “extremely over-reacted” to an allegation that Mr Pocock had molested a girl and subsequently “organised his death”.
A fourth man, Jamie West, 19, is accused of providing them with one of the two baseball bats used in the onslaught.
Maidstone Crown Court heard that although he was not part of the group attack, West had been at a “meeting” called by Mark Terry during which Mr Pocock’s “punishment” was discussed.
Terry, his son, Bones and the teenager spent the evening of August 6 last year drinking with Mr Pocock in Leysdown.
Gary Pocock was found on a private beach in Leysdown. Picture: Google Earth
It is alleged they then “lured” Mr Pocock, who owned a holiday chalet in Sheppey, to a secluded part of the beach off Warden Bay Road.
Mr Pocock's body, which was naked from the waist down, was found the following morning by a man out with his metal detector.
The teenager, who was 15 at the time, initially denied any involvement.
But the jury of six men and six women was told he later admitted being present when Mr Pocock was allegedly murdered.
Prosecutor Jonathan Higgs QC said: “He described Matthew Terry waiting in the darkness, coming out of the darkness with a baseball bat and hitting Gary Pocock hard to the head.
“The attack then continued with Matthew Terry, Mark Terry and Christopher Bones repeatedly hitting, kicking, punching….’an explosion of blood’ was his expression.
“He described how he initially froze and then ran off to distance himself from it, about 100 yards, and got blood on him.
“He described the attack on the grassy area and then dragging onto the beach.
He (Mr Pocock) was put into the sea probably, if not dead, lifeless, and certainly unconscious.
“There was repeated kicking of the genital area and words to accompany this attack.”
Mr Higgs continued that the teenager claimed he played no part in the alleged killing.
Police officers guard the entrance to a beach where Gary Pocock was found dead
“He was frightened and did not want to be there in the first place and went along with it all afterwards because he was scared the group would turn on him. He was terrified.”
However, the court was told the prosecution allege he knew what was to happen to Mr Pocock and had been at the meeting in Mark Terry’s holiday chalet at Happy Valley.
Mr Higgs asked the jury to consider why he was therefore at the beach that night. “Was he there because they needed someone to observe it? Of course not.
“If what he said was correct, that this man was to be brutally attacked with baseball bats and thrown dead or nearly dead into the sea, are they going to want witnesses there who were not party to it?”
The prosecutor told the court that there was no “direct” evidence that all four “got their boots dirty”.
Police at a beach in Leysdown after Gary Pocock's body was found
But he asked the jurors how it was that the teenager was able to give “a detailed narrative” of the attack on Mr Pocock.
“If in fact he ran away a distance, and he says 100 yards, he wouldn’t be able to see what was going on.
“There was no lighting, it was not a full moon, it was virtually moon-less, the lights from the caravan park were low level.
“He was frightened and did not want to be there in the first place and went along with it all afterwards because he was scared the group would turn on him. He was terrified" - Jonathan Higgs QC
“It was pitch-black but he gives a detailed narrative from start to finish of what occurred.”
Mr Higgs said that while the youth “deserved credit” for admitting he was at the scene and changing his account, he was not “telling the whole truth” about what happened.
Mark Terry and Matthew Terry, both of Grantham Road, Manor Park, east London, Bones, of Dorothy Gardens, Dagenham, Essex, and the teenager all deny murder and perverting the course of justice by making false statements to police.
West, of Cliff View Gardens, Warden, also denies murder.
Mark Terry’s wife, Lisa Terry, 32, also of Grantham Road, Manor Park, denies perverting the course of justice by telling a witness to withhold information from police.
The trial is expected to last up to nine weeks.
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