Murder trial jury told mum of man who died after being stabbed in the street had previously been attacked by Hartlepool boxer on trial over his death

The mother of a man allegedly murdered in the street told of the last time she saw her son alive.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 4:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 4:18 pm
Murder trial jury told mum of man who died after being stabbed in the street had previously been attacked by Hartlepool boxer on trial over his death

Gillian Grayson said Peter Gilling turned up unannounced at her house five days before he was killed.

"He was in a state," said Ms Grayson in a statement read to a jury at Teesside Crown Court.

Peter Gilling.

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"He was black and blue, I've never seen him in such a state, he looked very down.

"He said he'd been jumped on by Daz Willans and stabbed in the head by Pallas.

"Peter looked very fed up and down.

"I filled a bag of food for him, and gave him £10 for some electric.

Police at the scene.

"The last thing he said to me was: 'Thanks very much, mam, I love you.'

"I never saw him again."

Trial judge Mr Justice Lavender told the jury Ms Grayson's evidence was what lawyers call hearsay - what someone says someone else said to them.

"You should bear in mind the defendants may not accept it as true," said the judge.

Prosecutors claim Mr Gilling, 30, was murdered in a joint enterprise killing by Darren Willans and Derek Pallas on September 29.

Willans and Pallas are alleged to have attacked Mr Gilling a few days earlier, causing injuries to his face and body.

A friend of Mr Gilling, Kirsty Denby, said she saw him in Billingham town centre a few days before his death.

"He had a cut above his left eye and various scratches," said Ms Denby.

"He told me he'd been jumped on by Daz Willans, and when he was getting on top, Derek Pallas had gone in with a blade.

"That's all he said about it."

Mr Gillings' adult son Alex Cooke said he had seen his father with injuries a few days before his death.

"He told me he had had bother with Willans and Pallas," said Mr Cooke.

"He said he had almost got the better of them when Pallas put a knife to his head.

"Dad said Willans had him in a head lock, and he shouted to Pallas to stab him."

PCSO Tracy Widdowfield, of Cleveland Police, said she had seen Mr Gillings with injuries.

She advised him to seek hospital treatment, and a few days later had carried out a 'welfare check at his flat, finding him well'.

Boxing coach Paul Burnell said he knew Darren Willans through the local boxing scene.

Mr Burnelll said Willans was a capable fighter, but 'not as good as he thought he was'.

He said Willans improved, but would often skip training, and he acquired a reputation for taking steroids, smoking cannabis, and not turning up for booked fights.

The court heard earlier Willans holds Mr Gilling responsible for a burglary in which a quad bike was stolen.

Willans told police he'd had 'a little fight' with Gillings over the quad bike, beating him easily.

The pair met again a few days later when they shook hands.

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

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