Jockey deaths evidence 'flimsy'
Published 14/05/2010 | 12:42
Lawyers for a man accused of killing two young jockeys in a flat fire told a jury the strength of the evidence against him "is not something you would hang an old coat on, let alone convict a man for the offence of murder".
Peter Brown, 37, is accused of starting a fire in a block of flats in Norton, North Yorkshire, which killed Jamie Kyne, 18, from Kiltrogue, Co Galway, and Jan Wilson, 19, from Forfar, Scotland.
Paul Watson QC, defending, began his closing speech to the jury by saying the prosecution case was "flimsy" and "ailing".
He said: "In truth we suggest the evidence in this case is not something you would hang a old coat on let alone convict a man for the offence of murder."
Mr Watson went on: "Apart from conjecture and theory, the prosecution has produced little or nothing in the way of good old fashioned evidence."
The jury at Leeds Crown Court has heard how the prosecution case is that Brown started the blaze when he lit rubbish in the communal entrance to the block of flats known as Buckrose Court in the early hours of September 5 last year. Brown was a former caretaker for the complex and lived in one of the blocks.
Prosecutors say drunken Brown, who is originally from the Aberdeen area, torched the complex as an act of revenge after he was refused entry to a party in one of the flats.
The fire forced many of the occupants to jump for their lives or climb down drainpipes. Miss Wilson and Mr Kyne were trapped in a top floor flat.
Brown, of School Croft, Brotherton, North Yorkshire, denies two charges of murder, two charges of manslaughter and one of arson with intent to endanger life.