'I have to think about my safety': Murder suspect told police he feared being attacked if he told police what happened when man was stabbed

A murder suspect told police he wanted to help their inquiry but was scared to do so.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:23 pm
Police cordoned off the scene after Peter Gilling was stabbed outside Melonsby Court, Billingham.

In police interviews read to a jury at Teesside Crown Court, Derek Pallas answered no comment to many of the questions put to him about the murder of Peter Gilling 39.

Mr Gilling died from stab wounds after a chance meeting with Pallas and co-accused Darren Willans, from Hartlepool, outside Melsonby Court in Billingham.

Peter Gilling.

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"I have to think about my safety," said Pallas. "I've been told who else has been arrested, those people have power.

"If I get bailed, I'm gong to get done in.

"If I go to prison, I will get done in.

"I am not a grass, I'm not going to get dragged into this.

"I'm not going to get cut up, you can find out what happened from the cameras."

When pressed, Pallas said he had gone to the flats to buy drugs.

He claimed he had left the flats in a taxi, but then said he left in a car belonging to one of his drugs customers.

"She's called Lynn," said Pallas. "She's from Durham, a highly qualified civil servant."

Pallas denied a suggestion from the interviewing officer that Lynn did not exist.

"She's definitely real," he said. "But this could lose her her job.

"I don't carry knives.

"Darren Willans is a boxer, he doesn't need to carry knives."

In his interview, Willans said Pallas was known to carry knives.

Willans said Pallas had been bragging about stabbing Mr Gilling, but he had not seen him do so.

"I'm gutted Peter's gone," Willans added.

"But I didn't see anything, if I had have done, I would have stopped it.

"I've got a good life ahead of me with the boxing, he (Pallas) had better admit what he's done.

"I know he stabbed him, I've left, they are the only two there, and Peter gets stabbed.

"It doesn't take a genius to work it out, does it?

"I don't carry knives, I don't believe in them.

"I've got nothing to hide."

Willans, 31, of Warren Court, Hartlepool, and Pallas, 36, of Marsh House Avenue, Billingham, both deny murder on September 29 last year.

Both men admit being with Mr Gilling shortly before he was fatally injured, but they both deny stabbing him.