Neill Buchel death: Witness saw ‘bully’ accused ‘beating victim hours before his death’
PUBLISHED: 15:44 05 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:44 05 February 2015
A woman who saw Neill Buchel being punched on the night he was allegedly murdered has spoken of her shock that no one else seemed bothered.
Claire Sacco, who was living in Dagenham at the time of Buchell’s death, told Blackfriars Crown Court this morning how she had been at the house of accused Chas Quye, 36, on March 13, smoking crack cocaine and drinking beer.
Quye, along with Scott Hunt, 41, of Braintree Road, Dagenham, and Elvis Kwiatowski, 36, of Clopton Close, Royston, stands charged with murder.
Ms Sacco – who knew Quye and Alan Quinn, 28, of Lynette Road, who stands charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice – did not know Buchel, but was shocked to see him punched while everyone was seemingly enjoying themselves.
“While we were talking, Chas just hit the man on the floor in front of the TV,” she told the court from behind a screen.
“I couldn’t see his face, but I saw two hard blows hit him on the top of his head.
“I told Chas he was a bully – I didn’t find it funny at all.”
Ms Sacco told the court how she left the house to go and buy some more drugs, but was shocked that nobody had appeared to bat an eyelid.
“Nobody reacted – everybody just continued chatting away,” she added.
“He called me a smack-head, but you just don’t hit someone like that – it’s wrong.
“Eventually he asked someone to help move him because he was getting blood all over the floor.”
Ms Sacco, who eventually stayed the night at another friend’s house, did not realise the extent of what had happened that night until months later.
“I didn’t know about the disappearance,” she told the court. “I just read about the [alleged] murder in the Dagenham Post, but I didn’t realise who it was at the time.”
In June 2014, she bumped into Quinn outside a Chinese takeaway in Green Lane, who told her who the man on the floor that night had been.
“He said the bloke that Chas hit hand ended up dead,” she added.
“He said Chas went a bit mental or something – he started getting a bit aggressive.
“He said that he left shortly after me but that the man had ended up dead.
“I was shocked and I felt sick – I couldn’t believe it.”
The trial continues.
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