A murder suspect has told a court he will not gamble with his family’s lives by revealing the identity of the man he says killed Ilkeston dad-of-six Mick Moss.
Nathan Hall, of Birchwood Lane, Somercotes, admitted he was in a car parked just yards away from the Canal Street front room where 48-year-old Mick Moss was found badly beaten on January 30 this year but claims he knew nothing of what was happening inside.
His co-accused Collete Booth, 46, of Mill Street, Ilkeston, and Jamie Elliott, North Street, Alfreton, also deny murder.
A fourth defendant, Alan Chapman, who is Booth’s son, had the case against him discontinued last week and walked free from court.
Hall told the court on Tuesday he had been with Jamie Elliott and that they travelled from Alfreton to Ilkeston with another man to collect some money he was owed.
Both defendants say they refuse to name the third man in fear of their lives.
Asked by Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, why he didn’t tell the police the same story he has told the jury, Hall said: “If I told the police what I knew and the third man found out, god knows what would happen.
“It’s not a bet I’m willing to place, not with my family’s lives.
“My son is the most valuable thing in the wold to me.”
Hall, 24, repeatedly denied the prosecution’s claims that the third man was “made up” to get himself and Elliott off the hook.
He said he didn’t ask what happened in the house despite being made to drive away ‘quickly’ and the wrong way up a one way street.
He told the court that the first he knew about the murder was when he was listening to the radio at work on February 1.
Asked by his counsel, Andrew Lockhart QC, what his reaction was to hearing the news report, he said: “I panicked. Something clicked I had a bad feeling come over me.
“I knew I’d been in the vehicle that had took someone to carry out this bad thing.
“I thought it was something to do with Jamie so I text him.”
Phone records show that Hall sent Elliott a text message reading: “RING ME ASAP!!!!”
Nine minutes later Elliott called Hall.
Hall said: “He [Jamie] rang me and I told him what I’d heard on the radio. He said ‘Moss. Something bad’s happened. Get rid of your phone I don’t want you involved.’”
Hall said he threw his phone in a skip at work and got his sister to buy him a new one which he activated that evening.
When asked why by Mr Joyce he replied: “I got rid of my phone that would connect me with Jamie [Elliott] and his involvement in this killing.”
Mr Joyce then quizzed Hall about why no messages were sent or received during the time of the attack despite him frequently exchanging texts with a girl on the drive to Ilkeston.
He said: “These two phones [Hall’s and Elliott’s] fell silent during the time of the killing because you were both rather busy weren’t you? That’s why you text later saying ‘Sorry. Been a bit busy. You still up babe?’”
Hall replied: “Yes, but that doesn’t mean I went and murdered someone.”
Joyce asked; “What you meant was you’d just ‘been a bit busy’ helping Jamie Elliott beat up Mr Moss didn’t you?”
Hall answered: “No.”
The case continues.