Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Man acquitted of charge in lagoon murder trial

Antonio Watt
The judge said there was no evidence against Antonio Watt

One of the defendants in the trial into the death of a man whose headless body was found in a Bedfordshire lake has been acquitted of familial homicide.

Michael Gilbert was found in the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey, last May.

Antonio Watt, 70, was acquitted of the charge on the direction of the judge at Luton Crown Court.

His sons Robert and James Watt, of Chertsey Close, Luton, are charged with murdering Mr Gilbert and are also accused of familial homicide.

'No evidence'

Their mother, Jennifer Smith-Dennis, 58, is charged with familial homicide and two counts of perverting the course of justice. Antonio Watt is also charged with perverting the course of justice.

Nichola Roberts, 21, of Burfold Close, Luton, the girlfriend of the accused men's brother, Richard Watt, is charged with murder, familial homicide and perverting the course of justice.

Natasha Oldfield, 29, of Chertsey Close, who is the girlfriend of James Watt, faces the same charges as Ms Roberts.

Judge John Bevan QC told the jury he had reached the conclusion that the prosecution could no longer ask them to bring in a guilty verdict regarding Antonio Watt.

He said there was no evidence putting Mr Watt and Mr Gilbert together at the Watt family home in Luton during January last year when Mr Gilbert the prosecution say Mr Gilbert was killed.

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