A vulnerable Louth man who allegedly died after being imprisoned inside his loft had suffered a number of incidents of damage to his home, a jury was told yesterday (Thursday January 8).
Richard Woods, 32, had told his half-brother Nicholas Woods that he was scared and had contacted police on several occasions.
The prosecution has told the jury that Richard Woods, described as a “shy and quiet man” who had mental health problems, had been bullied Harry Scott, who is on trial for manslaughter.
Nicholas Woods said he regularly visited Richard Woods at his half-brother’s home in Spring Terrace, Louth, and in early 2013 noticed his brother was having problems.
He told the jury “The first occasion was on a Saturday teatime. I found Richard outside the back door sweeping up some broken glass. A glass panel in the back door had been broken. He said he had come home to find it broken. He didn’t say who had done it.”
Nicholas Woods said later in the same year he noticed another window to the side of the rear door was broken, and on another occasion he saw a split in the back door.
He told the jury that when he raised the issues with his half brother, Richard Woods responded that he would deal with it.
He was asked by Adrienne Lucking QC, prosecuting, “Is it right that he told you he was scared?”
Nicholas Woods replied “He did. I said I would go to the police. He got quite angry with me and asked me to leave.”
He told the jury that he last saw Richard Woods on the day before the incident which led to his death. Richard was wearing a hat and revealed that he had his head shaved removing his long hair.
“He was full of beans. Quite jovial, Giggly. He was sober.”
The prosecution alleges that Richard Woods spent most of that evening with Harry Scott, visiting pubs and Moomins Club in Louth.
Richard Woods returned to his home alone, but Scott arrived later and is alleged to have trapped Richard in his loft after drawing up the step ladder. Richard tried to escape by climbing between the steps of the ladder but became wedged and died as a result of asphyxiation.
Miss Lucking has told the jury that the incident arose as a result of bullying behaviour by Scott.
She said “This was no schoolboy prank. It was bullying by the defendant at the end of a course of bullying. “
Harry Scott, 23, of Ramsgate, Louth, denies a charge of manslaughter as a result of the incident on 12 January last year.
The trial continues on Monday.