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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 17:29 GMT
Boy blamed over fatal park attack
Sophie Lancaster
Sophie Lancaster was kicked and stamped upon in the fatal attack
A 15-year-old boy accused of kicking a woman to death in a park told a jury another boy was responsible.

The youth, who denies murder, said he saw the boy kick Sophie Lancaster, 20, in the face before stamping on her head in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire.

Preston Crown Court heard the boy admit to punching Miss Lancaster's boyfriend, Robert Maltby, 21, but deny being part of a gang who attacked the pair.

The jury previously heard how the pair were attacked for dressing as Goths.

Miss Lancaster died from her injuries two weeks after the assault in the early hours of 11 August 2007. Mr Maltby survived but has not made a full recovery.

The court heard Miss Lancaster's facial injuries were so severe, paramedics did not know what sex she was.

The defendant told his barrister, Andrew O'Byrne, he did not know why he had punched Mr Maltby.

He stood next to her and he turned and volley kicked her like a ball in flight
15-year-old defendant

He said: "I was drunk. Someone said hit him, so I did. I heard someone say 'let's bang him'."

The youth said he had drunk two litres of cider, peach schnapps and some lager before the attack.

He told the court the mood was friendly before he punched Mr Maltby, who laughed at him when he was struck.

The boy said he then stood back as three or four other people began attacking Mr Maltby.

Mr O'Byrne asked him: "Was there any justification for what you did?"

The youth replied: "No."

Robert Maltby in November 2007
Robert Maltby was badly injured in the attack

He then told the court the other teenager set upon Miss Lancaster, who was cradling Mr Maltby on the floor.

"He stood next to her and he turned and volley kicked her like a ball in flight," the boy told the court.

"The kick landed in her face. He then started to stamp on her head."

After watching the attack for a time, the boy said he pulled the youth off Miss Lancaster before running out of the park.

Earlier, the court heard that no traces of the victim's blood were found on the defendant's clothing or shoes.

Under cross-examination from Michael Shorrock QC, prosecuting, the defendant said he had noticed the victims' clothes but denied they were the reason that he punched Mr Maltby.

Attack witnessed

Mr Shorrock said: "I suggest that when he laughed, you and your friends waded in and attacked him."

"No," replied the youth.

Mr Shorrock reminded the boy that a number of witnesses told the court they saw him take part in the kicking and stamping.

He said: "I didn't kick anyone. They must be mistaken."

The 16-year-old boy identified by the defendant has already pleaded guilty to murder.

Both boys, and three other youths, aged 17 and 16, have pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm to Mr Maltby.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Teenager allegedly saw others hitting Sophie



SEE ALSO
Court witness reveals killer's id
17 Mar 08 |  Lancashire
Attack jury played desperate call
12 Mar 08 |  Lancashire
Goth clothes 'prompted killing'
12 Mar 08 |  Lancashire
Teenager admits killing in park
10 Mar 08 |  Lancashire

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