‘Badly injured man forced into street,’ court told

Denis Witney

Denis Witney

First published in News

WITNESSES told a jury they saw a badly injured man forced into the street on the night Denis Witney died.

Three people are accused of the homeless man’s murder, which the prosecution alleges followed an assault in a house in St Clement’s, East Oxford, a year ago.

The 39-year-old sustained 26 injuries and was taken to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital where he suffered a heart attack and died.

Yesterday Oxford Crown Court heard from members of the public who were in the road on the evening of November 8, 2011.

Joseph Digweed, 19 of Pinnocks Way in Botley, said he was waiting for a bus when he saw a man pushed out of a door wearing his underwear.

He said: “He looked in a bad way. There was blood dripping everywhere. He had really been smashed in. He had two swollen black eyes and blood all across his face, which was all distorted.”

Patrick Curtin, 42, from Gaydon in Warwickshire, was having a meal upstairs in the Pink Giraffe Chinese Restaurant across the road.

He said the man was ejected from the property, with his clothes thrown out behind him, and was allowed back in after banging on the door.

He said: “I believed he must have been beaten up inside, as he looked injured due to all the blood.”

Mr Witney was found soon after slumped in the doorway of the nearby Marcus Roberts piano shop.

Wayne Cattell, Daniel McCollin and Joanne Moriarty all deny murder. The trial is expected to take five weeks.

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