Suspect tells of shock at murder news

Victim: Fred Shipley
Victim: Fred Shipley
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A MURDER suspect has told jurors he was out having a good time when a man was bludgeoned to death in his home.

Andrew Johnson is accused of killing Fred Shipley in a savage hammer attack in his home last July.

The 59-year-old victim was left with devastating injuries after suffering at least eight separate blows to his skull in his kitchen at Paradise Crescent, Easington Colliery.

Johnson, of John Street, Easington Colliery, denies murder and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

The 40-year-old began giving evidence from the witness box yesterday.

He told the court he was at the pub having 11 or 12 pints and then went back to someone’s house for a drink on the night of the murder.

He told jurors he was “singing and dancing” on his way home and did not have any trouble on his mind.

Johnson said when he got home that night he had a cuppa, watched some television then went to bed.

He said he could not believe it when he heard Mr Shipley had been killed and told jurors: “I was shocked.”

Johnson denies murder and the trial continues.