Michael Phillips murder trial: Medics said Hartlepool man's injuries were 'compatible with being assaulted'

Ambulance crew called to help Hartlepool man Michael Phillips have said his injuries were 'compatible with being assaulted', a murder jury was told.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 5:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 5:59 pm
Seven men are on trial at Teesside Crown Court accused of the murder of Michael Phillips.

Mr Phillips, 39, was found dead at a property in the town’s Rydal Street on Monday, June 10, 2019 after suffering serious injuries.

Seven men have been charged with his murder, and are on trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The accused are; Lee Darby, 32, of Ridley Court; Neil Elliott, 44, of Briarfield Close; Gary Jackson, 31, of The Darlings, Hart Village; John Musgrave, 54, of Wordsworth Avenue; Sean Musgrave, 30, also of Wordsworth Avenue; Anthony Small, 40, of Rydal Street and Craig Thorpe, 36, of Young Street.

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Prosecutor Mr Johnson QC read out two written statements from two members of the North East Ambulance Service who were called to an address on Rydal Street, Hartlepool, on the night of the incident following reports a man had suffered a head injury.

A statement from care technician Andrew Bell read: "At 9.10pm we received a radio message from ambulance control who directed us to Rydal Street in Hartlepool.

"We were told there was a patient with a head injury."

Mr Bell said in his statement that a man at the property said the patient's name was Michael.

He said: "[I] could see that he did have injuries compatible with being assaulted."

The court heard the victim had bruising to his ribs and chest and had a number of fractured ribs.

The statement added that Mr Phillips breathing had become shallow and he went into cardiac arrest. CPR was performed and Mr Bell worked to clear his airway but sadly all work was to no avail.

The court also heard a statement from North East Ambulance Service clinical care assistant Joanne Lewis, who said she drove the ambulance to Rydal Street accompanied by Andrew Bell on the night of the incident.

It describes how they were called to deal with a patient who the were told had a head injury.

She said there were two police officers outside when they arrived and entered the premises first followed by Andrew Bell.

She said she told another man at the address to get a hold of the dog which was in the property. The man said the patient was called Michael and she described the patient's appearance in her statement as 'waxy'.

She said: "I saw that he had injuries compatible with being assaulted."

The court also heard evidence in the form of a written statement read out by prosecutor Johnson from Detective Constable Steven Risdale, who said he was the investigating officer into the burglary that took place at accused Neil Elliott's daughter's home between June 9 and 10.

He said: "No suspects were identified as responsible for this offence.

"Michael Phillips was never identified or suspected to be involved in this incident."

The jury was shown a series of CCTV footage of some of the defendants in the Hartlepool area before and after the incident.

The court also heard from witness, Joanne Gartlan, a digital media investigator for Cleveland and North Yorkshire Major Investigations Team.

She looked at the digital communication between the defendants leading up to the incident and afterwards.

As part of her evidence the court heard how at 8.28am on Monday, June 10 Jackson took a screenshot of Neil Elliott's Facebook profile.

In the prosecution's opening statement on Wednesday, jurors were told that Elliott posted a "stark" and "chilling" threat to whoever had burgled his daughter's house.

It said: "Whoever burgled my daughter's house last night and took her car, your life is about to change, trust me."

Jackson took the screenshot 31 minutes after Elliott posted this message.

The trial continues on Friday, January 16, at 10am.