'Scene of beating was like an abattoir'

PUBLISHED: 17:14 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:26 23 August 2010

Ted Shaxted

Ted Shaxted

A BLOOD spattered jacket contained DNA of a victim beaten and kicked so hard paramedics described the scene as an abattoir, a court heard.

A BLOOD spattered jacket contained DNA of a victim beaten and kicked so hard paramedics described the scene as an "abattoir," a court heard.

An expert in DNA profiling gave evidence at Maidstone Crown Court in the trial of four men accused of murdering Ted Shaxted, 36, of Wallis Park, Northfleet in December 2007.

Shaxted survived the initial onslaught in his bathroom but died two weeks later in hospital from organ failure.

Bill Saunders, 27, of Shamrock Road, Gravesend, Marvin Service, 33, of Brandon Street, Gravesend, Trevor Lees, 35, of London Road, Northfleet and Kelvin Horlock, 29, from Strood are accused of his murder.

Nine samples were taken from the sleeves, hood and front of a camouflaged jacket, the ninth matching Shaxted's DNA, a jury heard last Wednesday.

Giving evidence, Ms Helen Swaine said the likelihood of it matching another person's DNA was one in a billion.

The jacket cuffs were found to contain "significant" amounts of DNA matching that of Saunders and another person whose address is where police recovered the jacket.

Ms Swaine said: "I can't exclude the possibility that he [Saunders] has worn the jacket only once. But it is more likely that DNA has been deposited over time."

The court heard that Saunders changed his assertion he wore the jacket only once, to having worn it several times.

Cross-examining, Jerome Lynch QC said: "The victim was bleeding profusely by the time paramedics got there. One of them described the scene as like an abattoir.

"It's remarkable if he [Saunders] was wearing the jacket that it only produced a very minor spot on the jacket?"

Ms Swaine replied: "I have dealt with many incidents involving kicking and punching and the amount of blood on the assailant's clothing varies from nothing to a lot."

Forensic teams at the victim's flat recovered a palm print matching that of Lees as well as a DNA match found from blood stains near the front door.

The court heard how in December 2007 a drunk Mr Shaxted visited the home of Karen Horlock, Kelvin Horlock's mother, and took a car from her home in Ebbsfleet Walk, Northfleet, without her permission and crashed it.

The prosecution claim the gang, headed by Horlock, subjected Shaxted to a "sustained and substantial beating" the next day.

Lees admits manslaughter. Horlock, Service and Saunders have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. All deny murder.

The trial was postponed on Monday and Tuesday due to heavy snowfall and was expected to resume as the Reporter went

to press.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Gravesend Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Gravesend Reporter