Harold Hill mum accused of murder ‘tried to help victim’

PUBLISHED: 14:11 27 July 2012

Francois and two men deny murder

Francois and two men deny murder


A Harold Hill woman accused of murder told a hushed jury at Chelmsford Crown Court of how she tried to save the victim, not kill him, even though she claimed he had punched and kicked her.

Elisha Francois and her mother had been attacked by carpenter Oliver Smith-Daye and that her ex-boyfriend and her mother’s boyfriend attacked him, the court heard.

She said she had then unsuccessfully tried to get them to stop.

Trouble erupted in Clacton early on New Year’s Day after Mr Smith-Daye had been “banging” on the next door house at about 4am after leaving his keys behind following a party.

Francois, 21, now of Amersham Walk, Harold Hill; Alan Didier, 42, of Renfrew Close, East Ham; and Charie Jacobs, 23, of Beach Road, Clacton, all pleaded not guilty to murder.

Mr Smith-Daye died in hospital from a broken neck later on the day of the attack.

Francois, who was pregnant at the time, said the trouble began after she went outside to remonstrate with Mr Smith-Daye about the noise he was making.

She said she told Mr Smith-Daye that her children were asleep but claimed he grabbed her by the wrist.

Describing what happened she told the jury : “I said to him: ‘Why you banging on the f***ing door, like that?’ I said I’ve got kids in there asleep.

“Next thing I remember, he grabbed me by the wrist and I was pulling away from him. He punched me in the left eye and I fell to the floor.

“He started kicking me while I was on the ground making contact with my sides and legs – four or five times. My mum came out and shouted ‘get off her – she’s pregnant’ before he turned towards my mum and punched her in the face.

“He then came back towards me – I don’t know if I was punched or pushed but ended up on the ground again. He started kicking me again – I didn’t strike any blows towards him. I called out ‘help’ and Charlie or Alan came and helped me.

“Charlie came out and he walked up to Oliver who punched Charlie in the face, knocking him to the ground. Charlie got back up and started fighting with Oliver. I tried to get Charlie off him by pulling him by his arms.

“Both my mum and me were pulling at Charlie to get him off Oliver. Telling Oliver to ‘just go,’ but they started fighting again. Then Alan appeared – he had a golf club, drew it back and hit Oliver with it.”

She said: “He hit him around his head – I heard a thud”. She said she and her mum had both told him “don’t do it” before Mr Smith-Daye fell over the wall. “Charlie started punching him, I said ‘stop it, get off him, leave him alone’

“I pulled Charlie off him and we all walked off to go indoors but Charlie ran back to Oliver and stamped on him. I pulled him off him to go back inside. We all four went inside and closed the door.”

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