by Keith Hunt
A strongman whose palm print was found at the home of alcoholic Ted Shaxted has denied having anything to do with the beating that led to his death.
Marvin Service admitted he had been in the flat in Wallis Park, Northfleet, on the night Mr Shaxted was attacked.
But he claimed he only went to there on behalf of friend Kelvin Horlock to check if the victim was alright.
Horlock is alleged to have organised the “sustained and ferocious beating” after Mr Shaxted, 36, stole his mother’s car and crashed it.
The prosecution say it was carried out by Service, 35, Bill Saunders, 30, and 38-year-old Trevor Lees on the evening of December 2 2007.
Mr Shaxted suffered multiple injuries and died 12 days later.
London-born Service, who has won numerous competitions for power lifting, told the retrial at Maidstone Crown Court that on the day of the attack he contacted Horlock to get some cocaine.
He said he collected the drug outside the George and Dragon pub in Gravesend, where Horlock was having a family party.
He returned to the pub later to get more “gear”. It was then, he said, that Horlock told him a man had been assaulted and the police would look for him.
Service said he volunteered to go to the flat to see if anything was happening.
A scaffolder who also worked at Bar 24, he said he arrived at Mr Shaxted’s flat to find it in darkness and the door open.
“It is pitch black,” he said. “I have crept in like a thief, basically. A light is shining into the bathroom directly on the bath.
“I can see stuff on the bath. I have a feeling it is blood. I have lent into the bath. I touched the wall.”
Service claimed he hurriedly left and went home.
Asked if he stopped off and gave Mr Shaxted a thorough beating, he replied: “No. Do you not think Ted Shaxted would have noticed me standing over him and beating him?”
Horlock declined to go into the witness box to give evidence.
Horlock, of Hatfield Road, Strood, Service, of Brandon Street, Gravesend, Saunders, of Denton Caravan Site, Shamrock Road, Gravesend, and Lees, of London Road, Northfleet, all deny murder and manslaughter.
The trial continues.