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COURT: Luke Harwood’s alleged killer ‘boasted about murder’

15:00 30 January 2013

Hall called police after seeing Luke's body hidden beneath a mattress, the court heard

Hall called police after seeing Luke's body hidden beneath a mattress, the court heard

Archant

An alleged killer laughed as he pointed out the murder scene and boasted: “That’s where I stamped on his head”, a court heard.

James Danby, 27, is said to have led a gang who punched, kicked and stamped Luke Harwood, from Harold Hill, to death after he had been accused of rape - a claim later dropped.

The body of the 18 year-old was taken from a council bungalow in Romford, to Broadmead Road, in Woodford Green.

Emma Hall, 21, is said to have helped murder Mr Harwood with Danby, Tony O’Toole, 29 and Jovan Roberts, 28.

But it was Hall who called the police after Danby tried to make her return to the body for a second time, jurors heard.

During interviews at Ilford police station, Hall told how Danby had repeatedly bragged about what he had done in the hours after the killing.

He was worried that someone would tip-off the police and told her: “You’re breaking up - you’re going to tell someone aren’t you.”

The following day Hall saw Danby and her boyfriend O’Toole eating bacon sandwiches and laughing about how Luke had died.

She said she killed a spider with her shoe and Danby said: “Oi, you f***ing murderer, you’re just like me.”

When O’Toole complained he had hurt his foot playing football, Danby said: “My f***ing foot is hurt after stamping on [Luke].”

Danby threatened to kill another defendant, Billy Duggan, 21, because he thought he would go to the police, grabbing him by the neck and warning: “I will break your neck now...”

He then announced: “I have got to go and see the body again. I have got to see if it’s there. If it isn’t I’ll do a runner.”

Danby told Hall she would drive him to the body with Duggan and O’Toole and said: “You are going to get out the car and see what I f***ing done.”

She said at the scene she saw a large patch of blood and Danby laughed: “That’s where I stamped on [Luke’s] head.”

Hall said: “There was a mattress there. Jay lifted the mattress up to have a look then he dropped it and said: ‘They are going to find him’ because the boy’s back or side was hanging out.”

“Bill was going to throw up.

“Jay went to grab Luke’s feet but a cyclist came past and he dropped him.

“Jay went: ‘We will have to come back tomorrow.’”

Danby tried to unplug a CCTV camera on a mast before they went back to the car.

Hall told him she was seeing her friend and could not return to the body again.

“He said he was going to cut the boy’s hands off,” she recalled.

But after she had seen her friend, Hall went to a payphone and rang the police.

“I just thought; ‘I have got to do it’”, she said.

Police were wating when some of the others returned to the body to try and remove the hands and the teeth to prevent Mr Harwood being identified.

Hall, Danby, O’Toole and Roberts, who all lived at the address in Romford, deny murder and wounding with intent.

Hall, Danby and O’Toole, along with Billy Duggan, 21, and Khalid Hassan, 20, deny perverting the course of justice

The trial continues.

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