Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Four deny 'sexually motivated and sadistic' murder

Shaun Fitton
Shaun Fitton died from multiple organ failure

Three men and a woman filmed themselves attacking a young man in a "sexually motivated and sadistic killing" in Greater Manchester, a court has heard.

Shaun Fitton, from Wigan, suffered massive internal injuries in a "horrific" attack with a mop handle.

He was also stripped naked and hauled around in a wheelie bin, Liverpool Crown Court was told.

Rebecca Birt, Shaun Beatty, Owen Skeat, and Michael Gerrard, all from Wigan, deny murder on 30 August 2009.

Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, said the attack began after Mr Fitton had made drunken sexual advances towards Miss Birt, 22, at her home in Tyldesley.

The jury was shown a home video recording of the "particularly unpleasant" attack involving a mop handle.

'Words of encouragement'

The prosecutor said evidence showed that Miss Birt filmed the incident.

He said voices of other defendants could be heard in the background laughing and shouting words of encouragement.

Mr Fitton died from massive internal injuries and head injuries sustained in the attack, the court heard.

Mr Flewitt told the jury: "Now that you have seen that footage you will, I'm sure, more rapidly understand how Shaun Fitton sustained such horrific injuries."

The attack only came to an end when neighbours called police when they saw Mr Fitton, unconscious and covered in paint, being dragged around the streets inside the wheelie bin, jurors were told.

Officers found the victim lying unconscious in the back yard of Miss Birt's house and she, Mr Skeat, 23, and Mr Gerrard, 22, were arrested on suspicion of assault.

They are all responsible for what was done to Shaun Fitton either because they inflicted the injuries themselves or because they assisted and encouraged those who inflicted the injuries
Neil Flewitt QC

Mr Beatty, 20, fled the scene, Mr Flewitt said, but handed himself in to police the following day.

Mr Fitton died shortly afterwards, and the four were re-arrested on suspicion of murder.

Mr Beatty told police Mr Skeat attacked Mr Fitton with the mop, but Mr Skeat claimed he knew nothing about it.

Miss Birt said she was in another room, with Mr Gerrard, when the attack took place.

Mr Flewitt said: "None of the defendants mentioned, when they were interviewed, that Rebecca Birt had made a video recording of what had happened.

"This was, we suggest, a sexually motivated and sadistic killing.

"They are all responsible for what was done to Shaun Fitton either because they inflicted the injuries themselves or because they assisted and encouraged those who inflicted the injuries."

The trial continues.



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