Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 19:25 UK

Teenager denies killing student

Simon Everitt
Simon Everitt's body was found three weeks after he went missing

A 19-year-old man accused of being involved in the murder of a Norfolk teenager, who was set on fire, has said he has nothing to do with the death.

The body of student Simon Everitt, 17, was found near Great Yarmouth three weeks after he vanished in June 2008.

Jonathan Clarke, of Shropshire, Maria Chandler, 40, and Jimi-Lee Stewart, 25, both from Norfolk, all deny murder.

Mr Clarke told Norwich Crown Court that he had been on a beach when Simon was killed.

Mr Clarke, from Telford, told the court he had come to know Simon Everitt at Great Yarmouth College.

But when Mr Clarke's girlfriend left him for Simon, the problems began between them.

'Death tragic'

Mr Clarke said he attacked Simon in St George's Park in Great Yarmouth on 6 June.

He said he punched him repeatedly but then left.

"After giving him a kicking, my grief with him was over," he told the court. Simon disappeared the next night.

The prosecution claimed that Mr Clarke, along with Ms Chandler and Mr Stewart took him to Mautby - where he was tied to a tree and set on fire.

Later on under cross-examination, he was asked: "You agree what happen to Simon was terrible?".

"Tragic," he said.

Mr Clarke said that in fact he had gone down by the beach in Yarmouth that night, but did not speak to anyone there.

He told the jury he might have been there until 0400 BST in the morning.

Mr Clarke is due to resume giving evidence on Monday.

The case continues.



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