John Littlewood murder trial: Tracey Bunney found NOT GUILTY after trial
A friend of John Littlewood has been found not guilty in playing a part in the attack carried out by her boyfriend which brought the dad’s life to a tragic end.
The 36-year-old was found dead in the bed of his home in Third Street, Blackhall Colliery, days after Marty Bates beat him to death in an attack believed to have been carried out with a hammer.
It came as his partner Tracey Bunney was giving evidence as she denied the murder of Mr Littlewood, who was known as John D.
The 45-year-old was then formally discharged by Judge Paul Watson QC.
In his address to the jury following their verdicts, he said: “That was a long haul, wasn’t it, and I thank you for your care and attendance given in that process.
"Obviously you have sat for several weeks and it has been obvious you have been following the evidence.
"I have watched out of the corner of my eye at how much diligence you have shown as you have tried the difficult issues you have had to consider.
"You didn’t get to make a decision for the matter of Bates.”
A sentencing date for Bates, 31, is yet to be confirmed.
Mr Littlewood’s body was discovered on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, by his on-off partner, with crown’s case that Bates murdered him just after 12am on Saturday, July 27.
That followed an assault the evening before by Bates, after Mr Littlewood claimed he had kidnapped him and tied him up, while a second attacked him over money and claims he had a safe house.
Bunney was tried on the basis she drove Bates’ BMW away from the back lane near the house, which she said followed an argument.
She said she had no knowledge of the attack and stressed she had been a friend of Mr Littlewood, helping him as he set up home.