‘Drinking session ends in Colne man’s murder’ court hears

Steven Sheppard
Steven Sheppard

A KISS following a drinking session at a Colne address may have led to a 47-year-old man allegedly being murdered by a man and woman, it has been claimed.

Steven Sheppard is said to have been kicked, stamped on and hit to the head with a brass candlestick in the living room of a house in Portland Street, Colne.

One of his alleged killers, Wayne Mackie, lived at that address with his partner at the time last October. Donna Harrison, a visitor there, is alleged to have encouraged an attack on Mr Sheppard.

Preston Crown Court heard Harrison allegedly said later that Mr Sheppard deserved it as he was a paedophile. But the deceased had no convictions for anything that could possibly be described as paedophile behaviour.

Mackie (40), formerly of Basil Street, Colne, and Harrison (35), of Beech Street, Padiham, have gone on trial accused of murder which they both deny.

The jury were told a post mortem examination showed Mr Sheppard, from Winewall, died from head and chest injuries, caused by a sustained physical assault.

Opening the case, Mr Dennis Watson submitted that both defendants were jointly responsible for an attack and both are guilty of murder.

Harrison had been in an on-off relationship with Mr Sheppard. The prosecution have suggested there were times when she referred to him as a “paedo”, slang for paedophile.

Mr Sheppard and the defendants, as well as Mackie’s girlfriend Andrea Richardson, had been drinking heavily on the afternoon of October 9th last year.

Mr Watson told the court: “The motive for the attack isn’t entirely clear, but it seems likely that after Andrea Richardson went to bed around 10 p.m., Wayne Mackie and Donna Harrison kissed each other in front of Steven Sheppard.

“Donna Harrison had had an on-off relationship with Steven Sheppard. It seems highly likely Steven Sheppard objected to them kissing.

“The prosecution say whatever the motive, the two defendants turned on Steven Sheppard, that Wayne Mackie attacked him when Donna Harrison was there and she encouraged him to kill Mr Sheppard.

“She was heard to say later he had deserved it because he was a paedophile”.

After Andrea Richardson went to bed, the mood changed around 10 p.m. Neighbours heard rowing and raised voices.

Mackie was heard to say “So you think you’re hard?”. After that, say the prosecution, Mr Sheppard was attacked while Andrea Richardson was asleep upstairs.

She is said to have recalled being woken by Mackie who said “Andrea wake up, he’s dead. We killed him”. Harrison, it is claimed, said: “Yeah, we killed him. He’s dead.”

Mr Sheppard’s body was seen in the living room. He had terrible injuries to his face. The walls were spattered with blood and a brass candlestick was bent and covered in blood.

Mackie is alleged to have gone on to admit the killing to another male, saying if Andrea had been there, none of it would have happened.

Police went on to force an entry to the address on the Monday and found Mr Sheppard’s body. That Monday evening, Harrison is alleged to have spoken to two young girls near a Co-op store. When asked if she had been drinking, Harrison, it is claimed, said: “No, I’ve just murdered someone”.

Following arrest, she is said to have claimed Mr Sheppard had been in a paedophile ring and allegedly added: “I’m going to do 35 years for this.”

While she was being booked into a police station, she is said to have repeatedly claimed he was a paedophile.

Mr Watson added: “It’s a very odd feature of his case. Donna Harrison referred to Steven Sheppard on several occasions as a paedophile and yet had been in a relationship with him herself.

“Steven Sheppard had no convictions for anything that could possibly be described as paedophile behaviour.”

A post mortem examination showed he had 34 external injuries to his head and neck. Internally, his injuries included seven rib fractures and a collapsed lung.

Mackie made no comment to all questions put to him in police interview.

In a statement to police, Harrison denied the offence. She said she had not assaulted any male at the address and denied telling Mackie to “do” him.

In a later interview, she said she thought she had been in the kitchen or upstairs when something happened, but could not remember the details.

She thought he had given him a clout, but could not or would not qualify who “he” was.

In a defence statement, Mackie’s case was that Mr Sheppard had come at him, trying to hit him. Although he defended himself, he couldn’t remember what he did.

His case is that Mr Sheppard came at him with the candlestick, though Mackie doesn’t think he was hit with it. He doesn’t recall what happened next, said Mr Watson. He doesn’t accept inflicting fatal injuries or any injuries upon him.

The trial continues and is due to end next week.