WARSOP MURDER TRIAL: Murder accused had ‘scuffle’ with man, but denies killing him

Clifford Collinge
Clifford Collinge

Murder accused Stephen Shreeves said that he endured a ‘scuffle’ with Clifford Collinge not long before he was found dead in his kitchen in a pool of blood.

Mr Collinge was killed in his Sandy Lane home on the evening of 8th October, 2011.

Stephen Shreeves (43) of Laurel Avenue, Warsop, denies murder, along with Kelvin Dale (30) of Forest Road, Warsop, and Mr Collinge’s wife, Charlotte (48).

Shreeves’ interview transcripts with police in the days that followed the death were read out by prosecutor Steven Coupland and Detective Constable Stephen Barnes, who had originally conducted the interviews and was giving evidence in the witness box at Nottingham Crown Court.

It is alleged that Charlotte Collinge had lured both Shreeves and Dale back to house that she shared with her husband with the promise of sex, and arranged with them to kill her husband.

All three deny murder.

Having gone to the Sandy Lane house after drinking in the pub, Shreeves said that Charlotte Collinge left a short time later to buy cocaine with a third man, Robert ‘Bobby’ Proud, leaving Shreeves and Dale in her bedroom.

Meanwhile, Clifford Collinge and his friend, Stephen ‘Stan’ Boardman, had been watching TV downstairs.

Shreeves said Boardman then came up to the room, brandishing what he described as a martial-arts or DIY knife.

Shreeves said he was mumbling and thought Boardman was on drugs, and said he felt uncomfortable and intimidated, so decided to leave with Dale.

Boardman left the room as they put their shoes back on, and made their way down the stairs.

But as they reached the bottom and tired to leave, they were accused by Boardman of kicking his dog.

He said that the other man, Clifford Collinge, was ‘ranting and raving’ and picked something off the wall, which he thought he was going to be attacked with.

Shreeves thought it may have been an ornamental sword, so he said he instinctively punched Mr Collinge.

Meanwhile, Shreeves claims Boardman was blocking the entrance way and began waving a guitar about in a threatening manner and ‘throwing crockery’, and so punched him as well, before leaving.

However, he said both man were still alive when he and Dale left the property.

The next day he and Dale voluntarily went to the police station.

Asked why, he said; “A lot of people had been speculating. I thought it was a scuffle, but when people started saying something serious had happened, I was duty bound to come in.”

During interviews with police, Shreeves originally told police there had been three men at the house on Sandy Lane when he arrived with Charlotte Collinge and Kelvin Dale.

That included Stephen Boardman, Clifford collinge and a third man who he could not identify.

He initially said Charlotte Collinge had gone to buy cocaine with the third man.

However, he later admitted there was only Mr Collinge and Boardman downstairs, and Charlotte Collinge had actually gone to buy the drugs with Robert ‘Bobby’ Proud.

He said Proud, who was a friend of his and Dale’s, had turned up at the house minutes after they had arrived.

Asked why he did not mention this originally, he said he just wanted to ‘keep him out of it’.

He said he and Dale had spoken about it and decided not to mention Proud, prior to voluntarily handing themselves in at Mansfield Police Station.

During his interviews at the station, Shreeves also said after leaving the bedroom and heading downstairs to leave the house, he did not return to the bedroom again.

But he was challenged by detectives who said forensic teams had found traces of his blood in the bedroom, injuries he sustained during his alleged ‘scuffle’ with Mr Collinge.

Shreeves said: “I did not go back up them stairs, I honestly do not know how my blood got up there.

“All I remember was my blood on the door when I was leaving, the patio doors.”

The trial continues.