Published: 13:00, 13 March 2017
A man accused of murder told how Pokemon Go fan Carl Gregory “jiggled about and then stopped moving” after putting him in a choke hold.
John Dickson was “scarily calm” as he described jumping in to help his friend Christopher Pollard as he fought with the 20-year-old supermarket worker, a jury at Maidstone Crown Court was told.
Pollard’s girlfriend Ria Mata claimed Dickson told her within minutes of Mr Gregory’s body being found near Westwood Cross, Broadstairs, he used the choke hold to “knock him out”.
Dickson, 27, returned to the flat he shared with Pollard and Miss Mata, 19, in Northdown Road, Margate, on October 4 last year and said her boyfriend had been arrested.
Dickson, of Northdown Road, and Pollard, 20, of Brimstone Hill, Meopham, deny murder.
Giving evidence by video link, Miss Mata said she at first thought Dickson was joking because he was so calm, asking her if she wanted a cup of tea and a cigarette.
Pollard had earlier phoned her and told her there had been a fight with Carl.
“John seemed really quite scarily calm about the fact he had just told me what Chris had been arrested for,” she said. “I was shaking and confused.
“I asked him why only Chris had been arrested when he was there as well and Chris had told me that John had put Carl in a choke hold.
“I asked him how the choke hold came into the situation and he said Chris screamed out in pain, so he jumped in and put him in a choke hold. He said he put him in a choke hold to basically knock him out.”
Miss Mata said she phoned Pollard’s father, Steve Gregory, because she felt “panicky”. He asked to speak to Dickson.
“John was saying to Steve how he had put him in a choke hold,” she said.
“John said Carl was jiggling about and struggling and then he stopped moving. He said Carl calmly stopped moving.”
The court heard Pollard phoned his father in a distressed state and told him there had been a fight, his finger had been bitten and the other man was badly injured.
“I had rarely heard him distressed like that, if ever,” said Mr Gregory in his evidence.
“He said they got into a fight and it got out of hand and the guy was badly injured. He said about the headlock and wasn’t sure if John had let go in time.”
"John said Carl was jiggling about and struggling and then he stopped moving. He said Carl calmly stopped moving" - Ria Mata
Mr Gregory said he spoke to Dickson, who was “very calm and collected” as he told what happened to Carl.
“I asked him what happened and he said he had put him in a choke hold,” he continued.
He said he put him in a choke hold and held him there until he stopped fighting, or to stop him fighting.
Mr Gregory added Dickson sounded “non-plussed” when he told him not to try to evade police.
Carl, who lived in Ramsgate and had been diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD, died of asphyxiation.
The prosecution allege Dickson put him in the choke hold on the ground while Pollard, wearing steel-capped boots, kicked him.
Prosecutor Philippa McAtasney QC said Pollard and Dickson had sought to blame each other for Carl’s death.
The jury heard that he was killed after he insulted his ex-girlfriend Chloe Lemare by posting an offensive photo on Facebook captioned: “How most girls get over exes”.
He also called her a slag and tramp after they met up a few hours before his death to play Pokemon Go in Margate.
She later told her friend Pollard what had happened, which led to all three exchanging messages and insults on Facebook.
Pollard and Carl then arranged to meet at The Link shopping centre near Westwood Cross.
The fight, some of which was caught on CCTV cameras, started just before 10pm. Carl went alone, while Pollard went with Dickson.
Both Miss Mata and Mr Gregory told the court Pollard, a trained listener for the charity 7 Cups of Tea, was “not a fighter”.
Mr Gregory said he told police Carl’s family deserved the truth.
The trial continues.