Hilda Owen trial latest

A convicted killer has told a jury at Nottingham Crown Court that he did not murder disabled Skegby pensioner Hilda Owen.

A convicted killer has told a jury at Nottingham Crown Court that he did not murder disabled Skegby pensioner Hilda Owen.

Callum Adams appeared as a witness in the trial of Peter Kenneth Smith (48) who has denied killing his 71-year-old neighbour, who grew up in Crich, at her West Hill home in the early part of 2007.

Mrs Owen, who had lived alone since the death of her husband, was found brutally battered at her house on 1st March 2007.

Adams, who has tattoos on the top of his head and back of his neck, was brought into the witness box handcuffed to a prison officer when he gave evidence on Friday and Monday because he is currently serving a sentence for the murder of his partner Kevan Worrell in Bradford in 2009.

Paul Mann QC, defending Smith, said to Adams that a bloody fingerprint had been found on the inside of Mrs Owen’s door handle and four experts found a number of characteristics on the print that were shared with some of Adams’s.

The court was told that Adams had come to the Mansfield area at Christmas time 2006 and lived with Smith for some time before leaving his house on 21st February 2007 - a week before Mrs Owen was killed.

Adams then went to London to live with another man he had met.

Smith kept sending him text messages such as ‘Goodnight baby, love ya,’ with kisses, said Peter Joyce QC prosecuting.

Adams was short of money and Smith credited his account with occasional sums of £20, the court was told.

He later got a job as a labourer refitting a jeweller’s shop in Regent Street, London and records showed his working hours there at the time Mrs Owen was killed.

Mr Mann told Adams: “No one was checking on when you were leaving work each day.”

Adams said he was in a pub in London after work on 27th February then at home with the man he was living with.

“Not up in Mansfield?” asked Mr Mann. “No, sir,” replied Adams.

Questioning him about the fingerprints, Mr Mann said: “One explanation is that you killed her.”

But Adams said: “I did not.”

The following night Adams had become tearful in a pub in London in front of friends.

His explanation had been that he was upset after seeing a boy injured at work. But he had refused to give the police the identity of that person, Mr Mann told the court.

Mr Mann also said Adams knew Smith was proposing to get Mrs Owen to sign a will so that her house would be left to Smith.

He added: “Did you regard him as the perfect fall-guy for killing her and trying to take her money?” Adams said he did not.

On Monday, Adams, who had been arrested on suspicion of killing the pensioner but released without charge, repeated his claims that he had not killed her.

Mr Mann said: “You said to Kevan Worrall that you felt as if you may as well admit to the murder of Hilda Owen.”

But Adams once again denied the allegation and said that he had only said what he had ‘under duress’ because Kevan was ‘a manipulator and a control freak’.

Mr Joyce said that it had been suggested that Adams had travelled up from London to Skegby to kill her - but he questioned whether Adams would have been able to pay for a train or a bus.

Adams replied: “No sir”.

The trial continues.