A SPECIAL constable has described how he found badly beaten homeless man Denis Witney lying in a shop doorway.

Tom Kennedy told Oxford Crown Court yesterday Mr Witney was covered in blood and struggling to speak when he discovered him outside Marcus Roberts’ Pianos in St Clement’s Street, East Oxford, last November.

Three people are on trial accused of his murder, which the prosecution alleges followed an assault in a house in St Clement’s a year ago.

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

Yesterday Mr Kennedy told the court he had been patrolling the road on the evening of November 8, 2011, when a member of the public reported seeing Mr Witney lying nearby. Mr Kennedy said: “I asked him what had happened and he said to me that he had fallen over. But given the state of his injuries I thought that couldn’t be true. He was very reluctant to talk to me.

“He kept telling me to go away and that he just wanted to be left alone.

“I got him to sit up and kept talking to him and reassuring him.

“He had a lot of blood all over his face and a cut over his right eye and split lip.

“He barely had any strength in his own legs and it was quite a effort getting him into the ambulance.”

Wayne Cattell, 37 Mortimer Road, Rose Hill, Daniel McCollin, 30, Blay Close, Blackbird Leys, and Joanne Moriarty, 29, of Mortimer Road, Rose Hill, all deny murder.

The trial is expected to last five weeks.