A defence barrister has told a jury that they must consider whether it was another man who delivered the fatal blows to a 65-year-old grandfather, and not the man charged with his murder.

During the closing speeches in the Stuart Newton murder trial at Preston Crown Court on Thursday, Paul Storrie told the jury they needed to be completely sure that it was defendant Nathan Williams who kicked and stamped on the Oswaldtwistle grandfather’s head in February last year, and not Mr Newton’s son-in-law and trial witness, Carl McMahon.

Mr Storrie said there were seven fundamental flaws in the prosecution’s case, which lent support to the defence case that Williams only punched Mr Newton once, and it was Mr McMahon who inflicted the further injuries to the victim while left alone with him in the kitchen of his house in Worsley Court.

Mr Storrie said: “First, the events of the evening of February 12 2020 in which friends met for drinks while grandad put the children to bed is gravely misleading and woefully unreliable.

“Second, this was an evening in which people met to obliterate themselves – they were drinking, and they were taking drugs.

“Third, it’s the case that Stuart Newton was out for trouble, fourth it’s unavoidable when trouble arises that Nathan Williams walked away.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“Fifth, as to events outside, the spot in which Nathan Williams and Stuart Newton involved themselves in a confrontation gives rise to great doubt, to the point that Nathan Williams could have done what the prosecution say he could have done.

“Sixth, it’s the case that in the aftermath, the immediate aftermath, for a key period of time, Nathan Williams spoke the truth, while Carl McMahon and Abigail Newton consulted to design lies with the intention of misleading the doctors who were to look after Stuart Newton and the police who were to investigate how he came to be fatally injured.

“And lastly, it’s undoubtedly significant that there are not one but two occasions when Stuart Newton was alone in the company of someone else – the first was when he was with a man who held him no grudges, who knew him not, who was regarded by the prosecution as ‘not naturally aggressive’. And when he was with that man he punched him out of necessity and admitted immediately to that (Nathan Williams).

Murder accused 'kicked Stuart Newton full force in face while high on cocaine and vodka'

“The second occasion was when he was with a man of completely different character, a man who had that night been insulted by Stuart Newton; a man who was not allowed to be in the same house as his children, a man who was habitually violent and a man who was very much under the knuckle of drink.

“And a man who we know beyond doubt was party to the most extraordinary, developed lies (Carl McMahon).

“It’s your choice, you can listen to the lies and follow their version of what occurred, or to be more accurate, you could engage in a more curious assessment of the evidence.”

Mr Storrie alluded to the possibility that despite there being violence between Williams and Mr Newton, that Williams punched his victim out of necessity, and that the further injuries to Mr Newton had been inflicted in other circumstances when Williams was not present.

He also told the jury that Williams’ initial lies to the police and refusal to comment in interviews as well as the fact he told officers he could not recall the events of that night were down to his anxiety and fear.

He said that Mr Newton had been at the property on that night to share in the same ambition as the other four – to get drunk to the point of obliteration.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mr Storrie also stated that when Mr Newton was brought back into the house after Williams had punched him, evidence had been presented to the court to infer that he was only bleeding from the mouth and did not look gravely injured, although pathological evidence revealed he suffered a complete split to the upper lip and multiple head fractures.

Defendant 'kicked, punched and stamped on head' of 65-year-old Oswaldtwistle man, murder trial hears

He said: “He must’ve had a hugely visible wound to the upper lip, but this was not noticed.

“The circumstances where you might not notice a gaping hole in the lip?

“That is because it had not yet happened.

“This casts the greatest of doubt over what the prosecution say occurred.

“We know that Nathan Williams alerted others to the trouble, we know he spoke the truth, we know that he admitted his actions to the others, but they did nothing.

“If you were there and you were confronted with a man with those injuries, at that point you wouldn’t consider that he needed help?”

Mr Storrie said that when Abigail left to go and get her mother, and Williams left to go to Paul Berry’s that Mr Newton was left alone with the man who had really been insulted that night, whose children he had really insulted.

Mr Storrie added that the following day, Carl McMahon had attempted to clean the house from blood stains: “He cleaned up and washed clothes and tried to make sure there wasn’t the slightest scent of what occurred there the night before.

“There’s very good reason to believe that those fatal injuries were caused when Nathan Williams was elsewhere by someone else.”

Williams, 31, of Mount Pleasant Street, Oswaldtwistle, is charged with murdering Mr Newton, following an altercation at Mr Newton’s daughter’s house in Worsley Court.

He denies murder (Proceeding).