Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 20:08 UK

Cyclist died in robbery attempt

Stephen Green
Stephen Green was attacked in an underpass in Dunstable

A teenager accused of the murder of a cyclist suggested robbing him in order to pay for alcohol, a court has heard.

Stephen Green, 54, was attacked in an underpass beneath the M1 in Dunstable by a gang of four as he cycled home, and died in hospital nine days later.

Darryll Bennett told Luton Crown Court how he and three friends stood in a line to stop Mr Green passing them

The 18-year-old and Richard McNamara, 19, Nicholas Garland, 18, and Shane Liddy, 19, all from Luton, deny murder.

The jury have heard how Mr Green, of Ackworth Crescent, Luton, left a late shift at midnight and set of home on 5 May last year.

He cycled, wearing a safety helmet, industrial ear defenders and safety goggles.

Bike thrown down

The prosecution claim Mr Green, from Ackworth Crescent, Luton, was repeatedly kicked, stamped on and hit with a stick by the gang who stole his rucksack.

Mr Bennett told jurors he could not account for how Mr Green ended up fatally injured.

"We all stood in line and he stopped cycling but was still astride his bike.

"I put my hand on the light and said 'what have you got for me?' then Richard McNamara hit him in the face and Nicholas Garland grabbed him.

"I threw the bike down and the light broke.

"I was punching him to the back of his shoulder, attempting to get his rucksack off. Then I got a phone call and stopped to answer it.

"When I finished I went back to him and got the rucksack and went off to McNamara's house," he said.

The teenager denied kicking Mr Green or battering him with a stick and said he did not see his helmet come off.

"I did not think what had happened was that bad at the time. It was not my fault. I was part of it but my intention was just to rob him," Mr Bennett added under cross-examination.

Mr Bennett, of Eighth Avenue, and Mr McNamara and Mr Garland, of Bradley Road, have pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of manslaughter and have also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob.

Mr Liddy, of Brickley Road, denies manslaughter and a conspiracy to rob charge.

The trial continues.




SEE ALSO
Murder accused 'sobbed' on arrest
08 Apr 08 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Four deny cyclist murder charge
02 Apr 08 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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