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Jury considers verdict in murder trial after homeless Piotr Lacheta was found in Cowgate Cemetery, Dover

The jury in the Dover Graveyard murder trial has retired to consider its verdict.

Homeless Piotr Lacheta died after being beaten and stamped on at the Cowgate Cemetery in Dover.

Cowgate Cenetery where Piotr Lacheta's body was found by a dog walker

Accused are Mr Lacheta’s girlfriend Clare Lunn, 48, and Justin Burnett, 38, who were both homeless at the time of the killing.

The jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard that part of Mr Lacheta’s ear was bitten off and his body dragged along the graveyard where he had been living in a tent beside another tent occupied by Lunn.

Both Lunn and Burnett have denied murdering the Polish national. Lunn is not giving evidence.

The trial has heard extensively how Burnett blames the killing on his alter ego, “Jason” - a voice he he had heard in his head since he was six-years-old.

He alleges Jason was his friend who lives in the left side of his head after appearing when he was a boy not long after Burnett’s step father tried to drown him in the bath.

Cowgate Cemetery, where homeless Polish man Piotr Lacheta was found dead
Cowgate Cemetery, where homeless Polish man Piotr Lacheta was found dead

He allegedly told a health worker that occasionally Jason takes over his body and Burnett does not know what he has done.

Burnett claims he had no memory and denied drinking...adding “That was Jason...not me.”

The trial heard earlier that Lunn had told Burnett’s girlfriend Lisa Taylor how she wanted to kill Mr Lacheta.

The pair had what had been described as a violent relationship, and Lunn had been seen with a black eye previously which she blamed on her partner. At the time of the murder, she was facing a charge of assault against Mr Lacheta.

On the day he was killed, all four had been drinking.Lunn and Taylor were sharing a bottle of vodka and Lunn allegedly asked Taylor to help her buy a pen knife so she could vandalise Lacheta’s tent.

Police were still at Cowgate Cemetery this morning, two days after the murder
Police were still at Cowgate Cemetery this morning, two days after the murder

Burnett then spent part of the day in Deal with Ms Taylor at her mum’s home.

They were invited to stay that night but Burnett returned to the graveyard where he alleges he stayed with Lunn in her tent.

The next day dog walker Corinne McKay discovered a body in the cemetery.

She was approached by Lunn, who was holding a bottle of cider and asked “What’s happened?” before repeating: “That’s my partner.”

The prosecution has alleged that the two attacked the victim during a drunken row on September 30, 2019.

Cowgate Cemetery, where homeless Polish man Piotr Lacheta was beaten to death among the grave stones
Cowgate Cemetery, where homeless Polish man Piotr Lacheta was beaten to death among the grave stones

Prosecutor Eloise Marshall QCtold the jury: "When they found Mr Lacheta he was face up. His body had been dragged to where it was found.

Officers discovered Mr Lacheta's tent had been flattened and police believe he died nearby where experts discovered blood spattered on gravestones.

After being arrestedfor murder, Burnett replied: "Murder? I couldn't murder a wet ****!

When questioned Burnett claimed he and Lunn had been in the tent together all night and did not hear any arguments.

But neighbours living nearby on Cowgate Hill said they heard men’s voices shouting.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

For information on how we can report on court proceedings, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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