The jury in the trial of the Louth man accused of the manslaughter of Richard Woods was today (Wednesday, January 28) urged to examine the defendant’s reaction on realising his friend had died when they retire to consider their verdict.
Harry Scott, who is accused of unlawfully killing 32-year-old Richard Woods, sought help and did not attempt to conceal what had happened, his barrister David Nathan QC told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court.
Mr Nathan, in his closing speech to the jury of five women and seven men, said “His immediate reaction to Richard Woods’ death surely speaks louder than 100 interviews.
“It tells you very clearly what Harry’s response was when confronted with Richard Woods’ death. It was not to run away but to deal with it.
“Why didn’t he rush home to Ramsgate? Why not pretend he had no idea what had happened to Richard Woods? Instead he didn’t run and hide.”
The prosecution claim that Scott unlawfully imprisoned Richard Woods in the loft of Mr Woods’ home in Spring Terrace, Louth, by raising the connecting ladder and securing it so that it could not be lowered.
Richard Woods attempted to climb between two of the ladder steps and became trapped. He subsequently died as a result of asphyxiation.
Mr Nathan said “Was he someone who was responsible for Richard Woods’ death or was he a witness?
“If you are not sure Harry Scott raised that ladder, he did not trap Richard Woods in the loft, he did not cause his death and he is not guilty of manslaughter.
The prosecution have told the jury that Scott bullied Richard Woods but Mr Nathan said “There has to be evidence that not simply has Harry Scott on occasions behaved badly towards Richard Woods and not just that there had been bullying. There has to be evidence that he killed him. It is not about bullying. It’s about manslaughter.”
Prosecution barrister Adrienne Lucking QC, in her closing speech yesterday, told the jury that Scott acted unlawfully when he raised the loft ladder and secured it to prevent it being lowered leaving Mr Woods trapped. She urged the jury to return a verdict of guilty to manslaughter.
She said “Did the unlawful act of the defendant in trapping Richard Woods in the loft cause his death? Of course it did.
“Does he regret it? Of course he does but he is still responsible.”
Scott, 23, of Ramsgate, Louth, denies a charge of manslaughter as a result of the death of Richard Woods on 12 January last year.
The trial continues.