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Suspect: I was fond of murdered couple

KILLED: Vera and Terry Martin
KILLED: Vera and Terry Martin

A YOUNG man told a jury he was not responsible for the murders of an elderly couple found dead from multiple injuries.

Brett Clifton denied that he went anywhere near the home of Terry and Vera Martin in Abbey Street, Faversham, on the night of the killings, January 21 this year.

Instead, he said, he took a roundabout route to Love Lane cemetery, avoiding the town centre and the CCTV cameras, and spent at least an hour drinking and smoking his hidden stash of cannabis.

He had no memory of anything that happened after about 11 or 11.30 that night, and "came round" at his parents' home the following morning.

But when questioned by Simon Russell Flint, prosecuting, he accepted that, as he had no memory of what he had been doing, he could have broken into Mr and Mrs Martin's house.

"I accept it is a possibility, but I wouldn't have done it," he said.

Clifton, 22, of Beckett Street, Faversham, could not explain how his clothing was stained with the couple's blood.

As for his own DNA being found in the house, he could only think it must have come from his previous visits while working there with his father.

Earlier, Clifton had told the court he had known Terry and Vera Martin for at least 12 years, and had done work at their house with his father, Noel Clifton, a local plumber and builder. "I've been there more times than I can remember," he said.

He was probably about 12 or 13 the first time he did some work there and since then he had done painting and decorating and other jobs, including helping his father to replace the old sash windows with double glazing.

Clifton, who comes from a family of 10, joined his father on a full-time basis after leaving school.

The last job at the Martins' house was just before Christmas last year, when he worked with his father on a repair to the couple's roof.

As the jury had heard, whoever broke into the house on the night they were killed, had used a skylight window in the roof to gain entry.

"I didn't even know there was a window up there until all this came about," he said.

He had not seen the window while helping his father.

Clifton said he got on well with the Martins. "I liked them a lot," he added.

"I was very shocked myself when I found out what had actually happened. They had been nothing but good to me."

The trial continues.

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