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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Girl denies forcing man to death
Trenance Road viaduct
Mr Hoskin was taken to the viaduct
A teenage girl has denied forcing a man to fall 100ft to his death as he clung to the edge of a viaduct in Cornwall.

Steven Hoskin, who had severe learning difficulties, plunged to his death on 6 July last year in St Austell.

The 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has admitted she attacked the 39-year-old earlier in the evening but denies murder.

Truro Crown Court heard that Mr Hoskin suffered hours of torture at the hands of two men and three teenagers.

Victim 'beaten'

The teenage girl said that a plan was hatched to take him to the top of a viaduct in Trenance Road, St Austell, but she thought this was just "to scare him".

"I could not make sense of it," she told the court. "I wasn't expecting it to have gone that far."

Illiterate Mr Hoskin, from St Austell, was stamped on and kicked in the face as he clung to railings at the viaduct, the court heard.

When asked by her barrister, Richard Smith QC, if this was true, she said: "No, that never happened."

Darren Stewart, 30, Martin Pollard 21, and the 17-year-old girl, all from the St Austell area, deny murder.

The three have pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Mr Stewart and Mr Pollard have pleaded guilty to a charge of false imprisonment.

Two teenage boys, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old, deny assault occasioning actual bodily harm and all three teenagers deny false imprisonment.

Mr Stewart also denies one charge of intimidating a witness.

The court heard that Mr Hoskin was beaten, forced to wear a dog collar and "walked" around on a lead and was also forced to eat 70 paracetamol tablets.

The trial continues.


SEE ALSO
Man 'bullied to death' by gang
13 Jun 07 |  Cornwall
Trio plead not guilty to murder
01 Dec 06 |  Cornwall
Girl and men charged with murder
23 Aug 06 |  Cornwall

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